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San Diego Gas Prices Accelerate Upward

Aired 2/22/12 on KPBS News.

San Diego gas prices continue their two week surge Wednesday with the average price up another three cents a gallon overnight.

— The average price of a gallon of regular stands at $4.11. The Utility Consumer's Action Network track prices at local stations and said that's up sharply from the price a week ago.

The rate of acceleration in the price of fuel is rare. A nickel a week change used to be considered a big move in prices.

San Diego Gas Prices Accelerate Upward
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"Eight cents in a week is a huge major move," said Charles Langley, a consumer advocate for UCAN. "We've seen 20 cents in a week. So this is a massive price spike. Normally, we rarely see prices move more than 10 cents over a one week period."

The price hikes have not moderated in the past two weeks. The price went up an average of two cents a gallon in the past 10 days. Oil prices near $120 dollars a barrel are playing a part.

"Even when prices went up to $4.64 a gallon the price of oil was at $147 a barrel, which is probably an artificially high price," said Langley. "You can buy olive oil, which you can run your diesel truck on splendidly, for less than $150 a barrel."

Prices will probably peak before they set a new record, according to Langley, but if there's an international incident that spikes oil prices, the record could fall.

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