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Average San Diego County gas price resumes increasing

San Diego gas prices started rising again today after a brief weekend pause. KPBS’ Alexander Nguyen talked with a small business owner about how it’s impacting him.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose three-tenths of a cent Monday to a record $4.744, one day after a run of 18 increases in 20 days ended.

The average price is 3.4 cents more than one week ago, 12 cents higher than one month ago and $1.141 greater than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price has set records five of the past six days. The record before Wednesday was $4.725, set on Oct. 8, 2012.

And that's hitting drivers' pocketbooks hard.

“I’m not making as much money because I’m dumping $40 instead of $20,” William Glasheem said.

He works as an electrician and tries to limit as many trips as possible to keep costs down.

“I don’t make random drives anywhere," he said. "I don’t drive to El Cajon for no reason. I make it a purpose and do as many stops as possible.”

The record highs follow a 53.73% increase from one year ago to the price of a barrel of West Texas intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange to $91.07. Crude oil costs account for slightly more than half of the pump price, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Part of the reason for the high prices is the tension in Ukraine. That’s driving up crude oil prices. The other reason is California is transitioning to summer-blend fuel and AAA said it’s 15 to 20 cents more expensive than winter blend.

Another reason is that there is more demand.

“With fewer COVID restrictions, people are just driving more,” AAA Southern California spokesperson Anlleyn Venegas said.

The Auto Club said don’t expect prices to go down any time soon. Prices will remain high until the Russia-Ukraine conflict de-escalates.