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Average San Diego County gas price sets record for third consecutive day

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose to a record Monday for the third consecutive day, increasing six-tenths of a cent to $6.398.

The average price has risen 17 consecutive days and 30 of the past 31, increasing $1.176, including eight-tenths of a cent Sunday and 15.7 cents Thursday, the largest daily increase since July 11, 2015, according to figures from the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.

The average price is 61.4 cents more than one week ago, $1.164 higher than one month ago and $2.037 greater than one year ago.

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The increases Sunday and Monday were the smallest since Sept. 13 when the average price rose three-tenths of a cent.

The record before Saturday was $6.373 set June 15.

“I was definitely a little surprised to see how high they went up again," said Bryson Patterson, a graduate student at the University of San Diego. "I kind of thought that was over.”

He just bought a new, more fuel-efficient car, and he thinks there is something fishy about the high gasoline prices in California.

"I do think a lot of the talk about (pricing by big oil companies) being kind of an opportunistic ... is pretty realistic," Patterson said. "I think it's kind of B.S. that the gas prices are back up to what they were."

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Frustrated drivers may feel that oil companies are gouging consumers, but Alan Gin, an economics professor at USD, said that’s difficult to prove.

"But it does look a little bit suspicious," he said. "The fact that when oil prices are at lows, the cost to produce gas for these refineries are lower here, but yet they are down for maintenance and that's causing the price of gas to surge. So there is some suspicion."

Oil price is at $83.49 per barrel on Monday, down from $123.70 set on March 8, 2022, according to the commodities index. The rising prices are the result of insufficient supply to meet demand caused in part by reduced production of gasoline from refineries undergoing maintenance, Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California, told City News Service.

The national average price rose three-tenths of a cent to $3.799, one day after an 11-day streak of increases totaling 12.6 cents ended with a decrease of four-tenths of a cent. It is 7.4 cents more than one week ago, three-tenths of a cent higher than one month ago and 60.3 cents greater than one year ago.

The national average price is $1.217 less than the record $5.016 set June 14.

The streak of increases followed a 98-day streak of decreases totaling $1.342 that began the day after the record high was set.

To cool down prices, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that refineries could start selling more polluting but cheaper winter-blend gasoline. The Automobile Club of Southern California said that will likely drop prices $0.15 to $0.20.

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