Business, Economics and Jobs

California gas prices surge


Gas prices are displayed at a Chevron gas station on January 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.


Kevork Djansezian

California gas prices rose by 17 cents a gallon overnight, Reuters reported. The dramatic jump has brought the total one-week increase of gas prices in California to 36 cents. "It's going to cost triple digits to fill it up," a man with an SUV told Reuters.

In Calabasas, California, a gallon of regular gas cost $5.69 on Thursday, ABC News reported. Some independent gas station owners have temporarily shut-down as a result, saying that leaving the stations open is cutting too deeply into their profits.  

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The surge in prices is caused by recent drops in production at California refineries as they switch to a "winter blends" of gasoline, as well as power outages and pipeline mishaps, the Los Angeles Times reported. Some station owners aren't buying the expensive fuel out of fear that they won't be able to sell it. The station owners that did buy the fuel chose to sell it for more money and hope for the best. 

The rapid rise resulted in long lines at a Costco store in San Jose, where gas was relatively cheap at $4.29 a gallon, San Jose Mercury News reported. Down the road, a Chevron station with higher prices was mostly empty.