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Gas Prices Continue To Rise

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose 1.1 cents today to $4.159, the highest since Aug. 4, 2008.

The 19th increase in 20 days pushed the average price 9.5 cents higher than a week ago, 19.5 cents above what it was one month ago and $1.038 greater than it was one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price is 47.1 cents less than the record high of $4.63 set on June 19, 2008.

"Prices are jumping by more than a penny a day, which is close to the pace of a price spike and at the moment, they don't show any signs of slowing down," said Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The rising prices have pushed down gasoline demand in the nation, but the drop in demand has not impacted prices, Montgomery said.

The gasoline price increases stem from rising crude oil prices, which are the result of the continuing unrest in North Africa and the Middle East prompting fears by investors the supply will be interrupted, Montgomery told City News Service.

"As long as those issues are not resolved, there will be continued anxiety in the oil market," Montgomery said.

Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull of the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.

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