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Southern California gas prices finally return to 2011 levels

April 19, 2012|By Ronald D. White | Times Staff Writer
  • The average cost of a gallon of regular gas in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area fell to $4.228, the Automobile Club said.
The average cost of a gallon of regular gas in the Los Angeles-Long Beach… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

The fifth straight week of gas price declines in Southern California has finally brought motorists back in range of what they were paying at the pump last year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch.

The average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, for example, fell another four cents since last week to $4.228, the Automobile Club said. That was 15.7 cents a gallon lower than last month's price and just a penny a gallon higher than what motorists were paying last year.

Still, Automobile Club spokesman Jeff Spring acknowledged that drivers probably won't be reaching for  champagne to celebrate the news.

“While prices have dropped to almost the same level as at this time last year, those April 2011 prices were nearly the highest that drivers paid during all of 2011,” Spring said. “Motorists need to continue actively shopping around for gas prices and make sure they are maximizing their fuel economy by avoiding speeding and regularly checking their tires for proper inflation.”

The spread of gasoline prices in Los Angeles alone was huge, according to another price watching service operated by GasBuddy.com. Its losangelesgasprices.com website showed a range from $3.99 a gallon at 15 service stations around town to $5.99 a gallon at a Chevron at West Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street.

In San Diego, the price of a gallon of regular fell to $4.226, 3.6 cents below last week, 13.7 cents below last month, and 2 cents higher than last year, the Automobile Club said.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.293, down 3.2 cents from last week, 13.5 cents lower than a month ago, and 5 cents above last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $4.218, down 4.9 cents from last week, 15.7 cents lower than last month, and 3 cents more than last year.

Statewide, the AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report showed that the average prices for a gallon of regular in California dropped 0.7 cents overnight to $4.209. That was 3.6 cents a gallon lower than last week and 0.1 cents a gallon lower than what Californians were paying a year ago.

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