The average pump price in California jumped more than a nickel as rising demand pushed retail gasoline prices higher around the nation during the last week, the Energy Department said Monday.
The average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in California rose to $2.532, up 5.2 cents, while the U.S. average increased to $2.366, up 3.5 cents. The California price was up 24.5 cents from a year earlier, and the U.S. price was up 31 cents from a year earlier, according to the department's weekly survey of about 800 filling stations.
Rising oil prices and strengthening gasoline demand are behind the pump-price increase, analysts have said. The U.S. average began rising three weeks ago, jumping nearly 13 cents; California's prices have been up for the last two weeks, rising 9.3 cents.
High gasoline prices and record oil company profits have sparked public outrage and will be the focus of a congressional hearing today as executives from six major oil companies testify on Capitol Hill.