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San Diego Gas Prices Set January Record

Audio

Aired 2/8/11

The crisis in Egypt appears to be costing San Diegans at the pump.

San Diego fuel prices have surged several pennies a gallon over the past week, pushing the price into record territory for this time of year.

The Utility Consumer's Action Network tracks prices at hundreds of local stations. UCAN's Charles Langley said the average price for a gallon of regular is $3.41, and he's still trying to put his finger on why the price is up.

"We couldn't find any reason for them," Langley said, "other than the crisis in Egypt and the fears surrounding Egypt. Which is not a reason, but more of an excuse."

Langley said very little fuel actually moves through the Suez Canal, only about 2 to 4 percent of the world's oil, and most of that fuel that does not come to California. Even so, Langley said the price in San Diego rose more than a nickel a gallon in less than a week.

"Its a high price," said Langley. "It is not the highest price we've ever seen in San Diego, but it's the highest price we've seen this early in any given year in the 14 years we've been tracking gas prices."

Langley said there are no problems at refineries and there's plenty of refined fuel available around the state. He said that's what makes the price hikes worrisome. Langley suspects oil companies are using the unrest in Egypt as an excuse to cash in at the pump here.

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