We're well on our way to driving season's prime time — summer — and Southern California has the highest gas prices in the United States, the Automobile Club of Southern California reports.
“Southern California continues to have the highest gas prices in the country by far, with price averages in local metro areas hovering about 20 cents above the $2.60 state average price for Hawaii,” said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring.
The good news?
Prices appear to be “easing,” the AAA says. And, well, they've been much worse. The record high average price for a gallon of gas in L.A.-Long Beach came in October 2012: $4.705.
Pump-price comparison site GasBuddy said this week that a meeting of oil producers in the Middle East has given analysts hope that prices will indeed decrease in the weeks to come.
“While typically we're used to seeing gasoline prices racing higher in the spring, the direct impact of this weekend's meeting could cause gasoline prices this week to reverse temporarily as oil markets react,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for the site.
Today you're looking at an average price in Greater L.A. of $2.823, the AAA says.
“An anticipated easing of gasoline supply problems is bringing down Southern California pump prices slowly,” the Auto Club said in a statement.
One key to relief at the pump could come from Torrance's ExxonMobil refinery, which could come back to full power by summer, the AAA says. An explosion shut down the facility early last year.
California pretty much relies on 14 in-state refineries for gas made to meet state smog standards. When one or more is down or even producing fuel at less than full capacity, your wallets suffer.
“Local prices could come down more quickly once the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance restarts and is in full operation, which should happen within the next two months,” said the Auto Club's Spring.
Get your motor runnin'.