Gas Prices Rise Again Overnight in California

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Gasoline prices in California rose again on Sunday after a series of refinery disruptions caused fuel shortages that experts say could continue to burden motorists into next week.

 The average price of regular gasoline in California jumped to about $4.65 a gallon on Sunday, 84 cents higher than the national average and by far the highest in the country, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Hawaii had the next highest average at $4.41.

Prices have been rising for about a week and spiked by nearly 20 cents a gallon, to $4.49, overnight Friday. Prices rose to $4.6140 a gallon on Saturday before jumping again on Sunday.

A power failure last week at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, Calif. was the immediate cause of the spike, though the plant had resumed normal operations by Friday. A Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif. is still operating at partial capacity after a fire in August.

 The refinery problems come at a time of year when California typically experiences some production shortages as refiners switch from summer to fall gasoline blends to adhere to state pollution reduction measures. Supplies on the West Coast have dipped to their lowest levels since 2008.

 Because of the supply problems, rationing has forced some gas stations in California to shut down pumps, and long lines of cars have appeared at stations that do have gas. Some stations have raised prices to as high as $5 a gallon for regular gasoline.

 Gasoline prices in California are typically higher than in most of the country because of strict environmental regulations and high prices.  Yet prices around the country remain high. Sunday's national average was $3.81 per gallon of regular gasoline, about 42 cents more than a year ago.

Analysts from AAA have said the national average would likely decrease somewhat through the fall and the beginning of winter, but would likely remain high through the end of the year.

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This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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