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A Painful Milestone: LA County Gas Prices Average Past $6 A Gallon

A neon sign of gas prices. Regular is $6.95. Plus is $6.97. Supreme is $6.99
High gas prices are displayed at a downtown Chevron station on March 7, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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Regular unleaded is now averaging more than $6 a gallon in Los Angeles County. That makes the region, as of Tuesday, one of the most expensive places to fill up in the entire country.

Even as the national average slipped by a few cents to about $4.24 a gallon, L.A. gas prices continue to creep up.

And it's not much better in neighboring counties. Orange County is now averaging $5.97 a gallon, with Ventura close behind at $5.95.

Doug Shupe, an Auto Club of Southern California spokesperson, said it’s anyone’s guess when drivers will see some relief.

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“It’s all going to depend, of course, on our local refinery issues, and when they resolve themselves,” Shupe said. “But also on the upward pressure on crude oil prices.”

The Torrance refinery has seen repair delays, which have put a damper on local supplies. The location experienced a power outage earlier this month.

Other Bay Area refineries recently had issues that slowed down production. On Monday, Chevron’s facility in Richmond saw around 500 unionized workers walk out. The workers are on strike over labor disputes.

Global problems are also affecting the pump. Shupe said the cost of crude oil can account for about half of what you pay at the gas station — and the cost per barrel has gone on a rollercoaster ride since Russia invaded Ukraine last month.

Gas prices now are about $2.08 per gallon higher than this point last year.

“To put that into perspective,” he said, “drivers with the typical 14-gallon fuel tank and a mid-size sedan are paying a little more than $29 to fill up that same tank of gas today.”

Tips from AAA on reducing fuel costs
    • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, and not just recommended. The Auto Club's Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
    • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
    • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
    • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
    • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Higher speeds result in more aerodynamic drag.
    • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
    • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
    • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
    • Remove unnecessary and bulky items from your car.
    • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
What questions do you have about Southern California?