SACRAMENTO (CBS13/CBS News/AP) – Pain at the pump. Gas prices shot up by 20 cents a gallon in some areas of California overnight. In Sacramento, it was up 15 cents continuing jumps at the pump all week. It’s the fastest rise in many years.
In Sacramento, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is $4.36 per gallon up from $4.21 just yesterday, according to AAA.
For all of California, the average price per gallon is $4.49, the highest in the nation. Nationally, the price is $3.79.
Not only are prices high, supplies are low.
Some of the state’s gas stations have been forced to close their pumps, and the ones that are open, are charging prices that can only be described one way — an arm and a leg. That’s why at discount gasoline outlets like Costco, motorists are lining up to fill their tanks.
Analysts say the problem is a sharp decline in supply.
Marie Montgomery, spokesperson for the motor club AAA, “We have never seen a spike like this. This is brand new territory. We just don’t know how quickly they’ll get the supplies back on line that we need.”
So what’s fueling the shortage? Analysts point to disruptions in nearby refineries. Recent fires and power failures in California plants, as well as a pipeline shutdown, were enough to reduce the flow of gasoline, causing the laws of supply and demand to go into overdrive.
Analysts say the uptick is troublesome, but temporary. California’s drivers will have reason to give thanks for lower prices by Thanksgiving.
Gas prices have been rising in other states as well due to the fuel shortage. One exception: gas prices in Texas, which fell four cents a gallon last week.