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November 5, 2012 | By Ronald D. White
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.
November 4, 2012 | By Brian Bennett
VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. - When Harry Perez looks at the red plastic canister on his back porch, he sees more than five gallons of unleaded; he sees six more hours his bedridden daughter, Catherine, can keep breathing. This is the cold calculus Hurricane Sandy has wrought for the Perez family. Every 24 hours the family's network of relatives breaks out across Long Island in search for gas. Five days since Sandy's winds toppled thousands of power lines and tidal surges flooded electrical stations, 50% of homes on the island are still without power.
November 2, 2012 | By Ronald D. White
Californians have seen some wickedly high gasoline prices this year, including a new record of $4.671 a gallon on Oct. 9, but the state's prices have never averaged more than $4 a gallon for an entire year. That is likely to change in 2012. Through the first 306 days of 2012, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in California has been $4.09, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California, using statistics compiled by the Oil Price Information Service. The new record average will break the one set last year and remain above $4, barring an almost impossible collapse in price during the last 59 days of the year.
October 30, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
California gasoline prices plummeted over the last week, helping drive down the U.S. average by more than 12 cents a gallon. But Hurricane Sandy was expected to kick retail prices higher in the Eastern U.S. - at least briefly - as refineries there shut down or reduced production as the storm approached. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in California on Monday was $4.169, down 26.3 cents compared with a week earlier, according to the Energy Department's survey of fuel prices.
October 29, 2012 | By Ronald D. White
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in California dropped by the biggest amount yet for a one-week period after the recent new record, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. The state's average declined 26.3 cents, to $4.164 a gallon. That's the good news. The bad news is that California prices remain far above 2011 levels. The state's average has dropped 50.7 cents a gallon since reaching a record $4.671 a gallon on Oct. 9. But that's still 32.3 cents a gallon higher than it was on Oct. 29 last year.
October 22, 2012 | By Pat Benson
California gasoline prices have dropped by an average of 24.4 cents a gallon since hitting a record for the state on Oct. 9. But they are still way higher than they were a year ago. Join us for a live video discussion at 2 p.m. PDT about where gas prices are headed, and why they are still 56.5 cents a gallon higher than the previous record set Oct. 22, 2011. Consumer columnist David Lazarus will talk to Ken Bensinger, who wrote in Monday's Los Angeles Times that California has about half the number of refiners it had in the early 1980s.
October 22, 2012 | Ken Bensinger
For nearly two decades, Santosh Arya has pumped some of the San Diego area's cheapest gas at his three Homeland Petroleum stations. But his streak ended early this month, when wholesale prices started rising sharply, then shot up 40 cents a gallon overnight. To break even, Arya calculated he would have to sell a gallon of regular at $5.10 -- almost a buck higher than at nearby Shell and 76 stations. Instead, he shut down and waited for prices to drop. "I've never seen anything like it," said Arya, who said he lost $2,000 a day while hanging "out of gas" signs on his pumps.
October 22, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
The decline in California gasoline prices has accelerated in recent days, fuel surveys show, but hardly amounts to the relief from record fuel costs that most motorists would like to see. The state average reached $4.432 for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline, the Energy Department said Monday. That was a decline of 19.1 cents in one week, according to the agency's survey of service stations. The week before, the average slipped less than 4 cents a gallon after reaching a record $4.659.
October 15, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
Gasoline prices in California are dribbling lower, with the average price slipping as much as a penny a day from record highs reached last week, fuel surveys show. "It's all rigged. They've got us over a barrel, literally," grumbled restaurant manager Jay Moss, who paid $4.99 a gallon Sunday at a Mobil station in Santa Monica. "It's down a little, but not much. I'm just tired of looking. " Although the slow pace of relief might be annoying to drivers, it's a familiar pattern to energy economists.
October 12, 2012 | By Jamie Court
How can a power outage at a refinery spark $5-a-gallon gasoline at some L.A. stations? Why would the fact that California had to switch to the winter-blend fuel at the end of October - a fact known all year - raise gasoline prices to record levels? This price surge is not a freak phenomenon or the result of a convergence of refinery problems, as the oil industry has argued. It's happened before (only the $5 level is new) and will happen again and again because California oil companies can make more money by making less gasoline.
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