San Diegans feel sticker shock at gas pump

SAN DIEGO – The average price of gasoline was nearing $4 a gallon Monday, and it is not hard to find stations that are charging much more than that.

Filling up the tank Monday morning was a little shocking for a man who identified himself as Mark C. "It's frustrating, but it’s the price you pay to live here,” he said.

At a Chevron Station in Kearney Mesa regular gas was hovering just shy of $4 a gallon, Marc C. said it's too high and he questioned the timing. “It's just odd how every year at this time prices skyrocket, and there seems to be a fire at a plant every year at the exact same time,” he said.

The slow spike in gas prices since the beginning of the year is indeed being blamed on issues at California refineries, which are affecting supply.

“It’s a big impact for a lot of people.  It’s definitely going to hurt the pocket, and its already expensive to live here,” Mark C. said, but he admits that he has little choice but to pay the higher price.

Rudy Aguilar has a plumbing and landscaping business.  He too commented on the timing of the increasing gas prices. They have jumped nearly 50 cents since the first of the year to their highest point since late October.

“It’s amazing the way they do it," Aguilar said. "They increase one penny at time and it doesn’t seem like anything, but at the end of the month it adds up. It’s a lot of money!”

Driving to job sites throughout the county is a big expense for Aguilar's company, but he doesn't want to pass down to his clients.

"Our gas bill every month is about $2,000, so when you add up the pennies, it ends up being a lot of money, and it's always hard to pass down those expenses down to our customers, so we end up having to eat up that expense. It cuts our profit.”

The average price per gallon of regular gas in San Diego County is $3.83. That's up almost 8 cents over the weekend, nearly 21 cents higher than a week ago and nearly 52 cents more expensive than a month ago.  The average price has actually gone up every day for the last 21 days in a row and is about 30 cents more since this same time last year.

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