Gasoline prices still climbing in Calif.

Oct. 9, 2012 at 6:56 AM

SACRAMENTO, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Retail gasoline prices in California continued rising Tuesday but the pace of the increases has slowed, consumer information indicates.

A series of refinery and pipeline issues in California sparked an increase in the price of retail gasoline. Service stations last week stopped selling gasoline because of shortages and weak profit margins.

Motor group AAA reports the California average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $4.67, up from the $4.66 average reported Monday. Some markets reported substantial increases last week and retail prices are up from the $4.18 average listed before reports of refinery closures.

Most of the refineries were expected to return to service soon, though Chevron's Richmond refinery remains closed following an August fire.

California Gov. Jerry Brown called on regulators to switch to a winter blend of gasoline early to add more gasoline to the retail market.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the price increase and gasoline shortages.

"Despite a pipeline and refinery shut down, gasoline production in the state last week was almost as high as a year ago and stockpiles of gasoline and blending components combined were equal to this time last year," her letter to the FTC reads.

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