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California gas prices reach record high for 2nd consecutive day

By Don Jacobson
California gas prices reach record high for 2nd consecutive day
Monday's average price of $4.682 for a gallon of regular unleaded in California broke a record that lasted only one day. File Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The average price for gasoline in California reached another all-time high Monday, topping out at $4.682 for a gallon of regular unleaded, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The new pump price was six-tenths of a cent higher than the previous record set only 24 hours earlier amid an ongoing surge in demand, AAA reported in its daily gasoline price update.

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The former record-high gas price in California was $4.671 per gallon, set in October 2012.

The national average price, meanwhile, was more than $1 lower than in California at $3.418 per gallon.

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Quickly rising prices in Southern California were being driven by high crude oil prices, while prices in Northern California have been affected for more than two weeks by refinery issues, AAA said.

U.S. crude futures have soared by 68% in 2021 while the international benchmark Brent crude has jumped 60% so far this year as demand spurred by the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions and the reopening of economies has outpaced the ability of producers to keep up.

Brent crude futures closed at $82.05 per barrel Monday. Some Wall Street traders have warned that prices could soon zoom past $100, or even as high as $120 per barrel by June.

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"We had really, really low demand during the pandemic, and then it just ramped up rapidly as more and more people became vaccinated," AAA Southern California spokesman Doug Shupe told the Los Angeles Times. "The desire to get out there and travel really picked up quickly."

The record prices are coming as millions of Americans are planning to take to the roads for next week's Thanksgiving holiday. AAA is projecting 4.4 million travelers for the holiday, with 3.8 million of them driving to their destinations.

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