Why San Diegans are seeing a spike in gas prices

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SAN DIEGO — A spike in gas prices is being felt across the county with the price of a gallon of regular gas up 26 cents from a month ago, according to AAA.

San Diego hasn’t seen prices in the $4 range since the start of the pandemic. On Monday, FOX 5 found regular gas for $4.19 a gallon off Del Mar Heights Road. Industry experts say recent storms are part of the issue. 

“Storms across Texas and the Midwest tightened supply across the country,” AAA spokesperson Doug Shupe said. “Arizona gets about half of its supply from Texas and the other half from California, so with less fuel coming from Texas to Arizona, we are helping out our neighbors.” 

Another issue is the easing of health restrictions. With a regional stay-at-home order lifted, more people are back on the road — and not only for work. 

“They’re starting to take more road trips, especially as we get into the spring,” Shupe said. “And that’s putting that upward pressure on the prices at the pump.” 

Speaking of spring, refineries are already producing the more costly summer blend – which by law has to be available at gas stations April 1. 

“That summer blend fuel is made to be less likely to evaporate in the warm summer heat and it’s more expensive to produce. Typically, it’s about 15 to 20 cents higher per gallon.” 

FOX 5 caught up with Anthony Carnt as he was filling up his tank. He said another hour in his work week helps him make up the difference.

“I break it down by the hour. If I have to fill up once a week, and if that costs me $80, break down how many hours I need to work to cover that,” he said. 

There are some things you can do to be more fuel efficient, including making sure your tire pressure is accurate and fluids topped off. You can also get rid of any extra weight in your car. 

“Get rid of the golf clubs from the weekend, or the boxes of paperwork from the office,” Shupe said. “Excess weight that you’re driving around with, that you don’t need — you should just get that out of the car. The heavier the vehicle is, the more you’re paying to move it around.”

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