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California gas prices dip below $4 for first time since August

November 05, 2012|By Ronald D. White
  • California's average price for a gallon of gasoline has dropped by more than 69 cents since hitting a record of $4.671 on Oct. 9.
California's average price for a gallon of gasoline has dropped by… (Frederic J. Brown / Associated…)

The workweek begins with California under an important fuel price threshold. The average for a gallon of regular has dropped below $4 a gallon.

Today's average for the state is $3.979 a gallon, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.

Analysts had said on Friday that the price would likely breach the $4 mark over the weekend, and it did, reaching $3.992 a gallon on Sunday.

The state's average hadn't been below $4 since Aug. 10, when it was $3.98 a gallon.

Marie Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California, said that the new average was a big drop from the record high price of $4.671 a gallon set Oct. 9.

But she added that a lot of drivers probably shared her main question. "Why did it get so high in the first place?"

Motorists might also ask why the price is still so high. The current average is 13.6 cents a gallon above the old record for Nov. 5, which was set last year.

Analysts and California energy experts blamed the spike on low gasoline supplies, low fuel  production, a year of numerous refinery outages and exports of fuel to overseas customers.

The U.S. average for gasoline also continued to fall, down 7.3 cents more since last week to $3.47 a gallon, the AAA said.

"Even with Hurricane Sandy causing havoc on refineries and infrastructure in the Northeast, gasoline prices nationally have continued to trend lower," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan.

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