(CNN/CBS13) — A day after tying its own record-high average gas price of $4.671 set in October 2012, California gas prices reached new heights with an average of $4.676 Sunday, according to AAA.
America’s largest state by population has the highest gas prices in the country. The national average dropped slightly to $3.413 Sunday.READ MORE: Missing Auburn Man Found Dead Near Gold Country Fairgrounds
AAA said heavy rainstorms in Northern California have pinched production capacity, which then trickled down to Southern California — just what happened in Louisiana with Hurricane Ida.
“It’s a bit of a supply crunch we have right now, there’s nothing major, until the refineries in Northern California can get back up to full production capacity,” Jeffrey Spring, Corporate Communications Manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California said.
Prices are pushing $5 in some areas, including Northern California’s Humboldt County, where the average price was $4.968 Sunday. The Bay Area has surged to more than $4.80. Doug Shupe, a spokesperson for AAA, said that although Californians are used to paying more for gas, the price has been much higher lately.
“Drivers are paying $1.50 more per gallon than a year ago,” Shupe told CNN. “It means the person who has the typical midsize sedan with a 14 gallon size fuel tank, they’re paying $21 more to fill up that tank today than last year.”
Shupe says the primary reasons for the price spike are higher crude oil prices and pent up demand from the pandemic.
“Typically we see prices at the pump fall off after Labor Day because people have completed their summer vacations. Kids are back in school,” Shupe said. “But this year people are still traveling. There’s still that demand for fuel to get to where people want to go.”READ MORE: Turlock Man Accused Of Sending And Receiving Child Porn Online
Sacramento County’s own average gas prices as of Sunday night were just shy of the new state record at $4.672. For the Sacramento metropolitan area, the average price of regular gasoline as of Sunday was $4.706 — which marked the highest recorded average price for the area ever, according to AAA.
In the Greater Sacramento region, Nevada County had some of the highest average gas prices around at $4.856 as of Saturday. San Joaquin County was at $4.653. Calaveras, Placer, El Dorado and Amador counties were all well over $4.70.
Gas prices have been increasing steadily throughout the year as fuel demand grows around the globe and suppliers have been unable — or unwilling — to produce more oil. Although US oil prices have surged by more than 65% this year, US oil production is about 14% below the levels of the end of 2019, before Covid erupted.
Prices haven’t plateaued quite yet, Spring said.
“What’s happening up in the Bay Area indicates that maybe we’re at the tippy top of this price increases, barring any other issues,” Spring said. “So we’re hoping by the end of the year that things will start heading downward.”
California reached its record price in 2012 following refinery glitches that caused prices to spike for a few weeks before coming back down.MORE NEWS: Fatal Crash Blocks Lanes Of Highway 50 In West Sacramento
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.