SAN DIEGO — Gas prices in San Diego jumped 14 cents overnight, according to Auto Club of Southern California spokesperson Doug Shupe.
The average price for a gallon of gas in San Diego is $6.04 while the average in the state is $6.03.
“The prices in San Diego are about 14 cents higher from just yesterday,” Shupe said. “It’s 56 cents higher from a week ago, 79 cents higher than a month ago and about $1.69 higher than this time a year ago,” Shupe said.
“It was $7.08 up in San Marcos, so I came all the way down here to get my gas,” Aaron Schacht said he drove to Kearny Mesa to save about 39 cents per gallon.
Shupe said the average person is spending about $24 per tank of gas than they were about a year ago.
“Before maybe $70 and now it seems like close to $100 to fill my tank,” Schacht said. “So maybe I won’t get quite as much food at the grocery store this week.”
Sandra Harris and her husband are visiting their children and grandchildren in San Diego, from Des Moines, Iowa, and think the prices are “outrageous.”
“I cant believe you guys are paying these prices, back in Iowa we are around $3 gallon and we come out here and we are just shell-shocked,” Harris said.
The reason for the increase in prices could be a multitude of reasons, experts say.
“We’re seeing a little bit of surge in demand at a time when supply is constrained,” Economics Professor Joe Silverman said.
Silverman also said he’s considered that many Californians aren’t feeling the pinch of higher gas prices because they are anticipating another inflation check from the state soon. He also said California is often called a gasoline island because each region in California is required to have its own kind of gasoline to address pollution, and California can’t get gasoline from many other states, including Texas.
“We wind up being isolated and it forces us to pay higher prices for gas,” Silverman said.
Shupe adds that another reason for the spike is planned and unplanned refinery maintenance.
“The Energy Information Administration is reporting that West Coast fuel inventories are at the lowest level that we’ve seen in a decade, until our local refineries get back up and running again and be fully operational, prices at the pump will continue to volatile,” Shupe said.
Experts say starting Nov. 1, gas stations can start selling the winter blend, which is historically cheaper and Shupe said it can save about 20 cents per gallon, but Silverman said we might not feel the small impact and it could be six months before we see a big relief in prices.