SAN DIEGO — Gas prices have been going up for nearly a month across San Diego County. According to AAA, the average price for a regular gallon of gas is more than $6.
Representative Mike Levin has sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking them to look into the higher gas prices. However, this has left drivers to figure out how to put just enough gas in the tank to get to where they need to go.
“It’s crazy, I don’t wanna buy gas. I put no gas in my car, just put it in my wife’s, that’s it,” said Douglas Dean, a San Diego native.
Dean said he takes time to shop around for the cheapest gas prices for his and his wife’s vehicles, but the high gas prices have him also shopping for something else.
“I’m thinking about getting an electric next time, soon, very soon, like in the next six months, for her,” Dean said.
“People are coming in for more Hybrids, hybrids are really popular right now, full EVs,” said Tim Taylor, who is a car sales representative at the Kearny Mesa Ford and Kia. Taylor said inventory of EVs and hybrids can be scarce.
“I’ve drove from El Centro to get EVs, two hours away,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he relays that message to his customers who are considering going electric.
“It’s the future, it really is the future because there is no telling where the gas prices are going to go and that’s what I try to tell my customers as well, you might as well make that switch now rather than later,” Taylor said.
Some drivers are now becoming riders.
“Definitely gas is cheaper, and you don’t get stuck in traffic,” said Essie Rahbari, who rides a Kawasaki Versys.
Rahbari only has to fill up the three and a half gallons for his Kawasaki Versys.
“This thing goes 180-mile range, and if I’m driving a lot probably get me through the week, so that’s like $23,” Rahbari said.
According to AAA, gas prices in San Diego County spiked nearly 30 cents from a week ago, with the average now at $6.25 for a gallon of regular gas.
AAA found the record high was $6.44, which was on Oct. 5, 2022.
Experts have said high gas prices can be blamed on the high price for oil including production cuts in Russia and Saudi Arabia, and outages at local refineries.
In addition, a report from the California Division of Petroleum Market Oversight (DPMO) found an unusual spot market transaction that led to gas prices skyrocketing across California.
“And we know 50 cents of it was as a direct result of one transaction,” Levin said.
Levin has sent a letter to the FTC, asking them to investigate the transaction, who is responsible and if the transaction violates any federal laws.
“Because we are fed up with these oil companies and market manipulation and price gouging, and we need for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and get to the bottom of it, and hold those to account if anything is going wrong,” Levin said.
But even in tough gas times, people find themselves with no choice but to pay up.
“I’ve been here all my life, so I just roll with it. Other people probably see it as a negative, but you have to pay for living in California, it’s like paradise,” Dean said.
California could see a price drop by the end of October when the state switches to a winter blend, but that depends heavily on the price of crude oil.