Ahead of a busy travel weekend, San Luis Obispo drivers are looking at the highest gas prices in the country.
The average price of gas in San Luis Obispo County is nearly $4.20. Prices are the highest they’ve been since July 2015.
“If prices are high, I pay the price because I have to drive,” said Gayle Bufo, a San Luis Obispo resident.
“Lately I’ve been paying around $47 to $50 just to fill up. Back when I first bought the car, it was $30 (to fill up) so it’s a $20 difference now,” said Daniel Kay, a Santa Maria resident.
Drivers want answers. What’s behind the surge?
“It’d be nice to have an answer to what’s happening, but there’s no reason for it that I can see,” said Tom Bruner, a San Luis Obispo resident.
Experts say this surge is because of a supply and demand issue. Several key California refineries have had unexpected interruptions in production.
“While many of these refineries are going through planned maintenance, we now have unplanned events or circumstances of refinery upsets that have compounded the problem and made the supply picture here in California a very tight one,” said Dan McTeague, Gas Buddy’s Senior Petroleum Analyst.
McTeague says taxes and seasonal trends do play a role. About $0.73 a gallon go to state and federal taxes.
McTeague expects San Luis Obispo’s prices to get even higher before they drop back down.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see San Luis Obispo at $4.30 to $4.35 a gallon before things come back into order and we hear from refineries getting back online,” McTeague added.
According to AAA, the current national average for a gallon of regular gas is $2.84.