If you’ve noticed a sharp uptick in prices at the gas pump, don’t blink. You’re not in Texas.
Prices across the four-county region are up between 13-14 cents per gallon in a week. In Orange County, the average gallon is $3.15; in Los Angeles-Long Beach it’s $3.18 while in Riverside-San Bernardino, gas costs $3.10 a gallon.
“We’re feeling the effects of Harvey, just like everybody else in the country even though we get zero supply from the Gulf Coast,” said Marie Montgomery, spokesperson for the Automobile Club of Southern California. “Everyone in the U.S. supply chain has been affected by the price increase and the worry about supply. Until more refineries start operating again in that area, we are going to see that worry continue.”
Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said California politics play a role in the price increase.
“I place the blame on the governor’s and the legislature’s failure to weigh in the irrational high prices in California,” Court said. “They also deserve blame because they added for transportation programs a tariff in California that will haunt us for decades.”
Tropical Storm Harvey, he said, should not be affecting California prices.
“It’s just an opportunity for profits by the refineries, and Sacramento doesn’t seem to take that seriously,” Court said. “The immediate run up is clearly gouging based on the excuse of Harvey.”
Prices, Montgomery said, rose drastically Thursday through the long weekend, but have since slowed down.