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The Gas Price Wave Crests

— Fuel prices at San Diego pumps have plateaued in recent weeks, after a dizzying run-up pushed gas prices into record territory. The per-gallon price crossed the $4 barrier in February for the first time. Some of the problems that caused the price spike have been resolved: Supply is no longer being pinched because of unscheduled refinery outages; and the routine summer fuel switch is over.

San Diego drivers may be getting some relief at the gas pump soon as wholesale gas prices are plummeting.

"All the refineries are now producing the summer blend of fuel," said Marie Montgomery of the Southern California Automobile Club. "So what they are charging is reflecting the price of the summer blend of fuel which is a little bit more expensive. It usually adds 10 to 12 cents to the price of gasoline."

Wholesale prices are down 50 cents a gallon in the past week and that should start showing up at local gas pumps this weekend. However, that doesn't mean prices will fall rapidly and stay low.

"Gas prices are very volatile in the spring and it could also be that some of these other factors that were leading up to the spike in the first place, could happen again," said Montgomery.

Prices will like come down slower than they went up, according to Montgomery, because many stations lost money during the quick run up in prices and they're recouping those profits that as their costs fall.

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