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California's steep gas prices expected to fall after sharp increase

Posted at 7:03 AM, Oct 14, 2019

Hitting the road is hitting Californians wallets especially hard this month as the cost of a gallon of gas climbs to $4.50 in many areas.

But analysts expect the price fo gas to trend downward over the next few weeks.

"It's originated from several refinery issues over the last few weeks that have culminated in a big drop in gas production," Gas Buddy Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan said.

And that problem is unique to California, where a gallon of crude costs nearly double the national average.

"It costs about $100 to gas up," Ronald Lovato, a Santa Maria resident, said after filling up at a Central Coast gas station.

According to the 2017 U.S. Census, San Luis Obispo County residents drive an average of 22 minutes each way to work.

Compared to last summer, when the price at the pump was about a dollar less, San Luis Obispo County residents are paying about $7 per week more this year.

The difference is even more cringe-worthy when compared to the nationwide average, which has San Luis Obispo county residents paying $14 more per week to get to and from work.

For drivers, the added expense of travel for work means cutting back on travel for fun.

"I used to go to the beach a lot more, it's probably cut that down to a quarter of what I'd normally go," Lovato said.

But the unfortunate reality is that many people can't avoid the added expense of gas when it comes to traveling for work.

"Certainly there may be some trips to the mall or trips to get fast food that have gone by the wayside, but it's not adding up to something so noticeable," DeHaan said.

That's because consumers with limited access to public transportation simply have no choice but to gas up.

But as many of us prepare for a costly holiday shopping season, DeHaan said there is relief in sight.

"I think that in the next few weeks, as long as there are no new issues, prices will slowly give up all the gains they've seen in the last couple weeks," DeHaan said.