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Streak Of Rising Gas Prices Ends

A six-day streak of increases that pushed the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County to a record high ended Tuesday with a decrease of three-tenths of a cent to $4.722.

Cars line up at Costco to fill up their tanks with gas.
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Above: Cars line up at Costco to fill up their tanks with gas.

The average price rose 54.7 cents during the streak, including 1.3 cents on Monday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price is 54.4 cents more than one week ago, 56.4 cents higher than one month ago and 92.1 cents greater than one year ago.

A sharp decrease of the wholesale gasoline price on Monday makes it seem "hopeful we will get some big drops soon, if not in the next few days, certainly in the coming weeks,'' Marie Montgomery Nordhues of the Automobile Club of Southern California told City News Service.

Nordhues credited the sharp decrease of the wholesale gasoline price to Gov. Jerry Brown's Sunday directive to the California Air Resources Board to immediately allow oil refineries to make an early transition to winter-blend gasoline, which isn't typically sold until Nov. 1.

"That announcement seemed to immediately resolve the supply concerns that had caused the panic on the spot market last week,'' Nordhues said.

Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, held a news conference today at a Shell station selling regular for $4.99 a gallon and called for the state Attorney General's Office to investigate the increases.

"There's gouging going on somewhere, and the attorney general has to figure that out,'' Vargas told reporters.

He criticized the slow pace of price declines as gas station owners use up the expensive supply of fuel in their underground tanks.

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