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Gas Prices Will Remain High Through Thanksgiving Weekend

A green gas pump, pumping gas into a silver car.
Gas prices remain high as global oil production tries to catch up with demand.
(issarapong srirungpanich
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There’s bad news for folks hitting the road for Thanksgiving: gas prices in Southern California are at a record high.

According to the Automobile Club of America, drivers fueling up in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area can expect to pay an average of $4.705 per gallon — just a tiny bit less than the all-time record of $4.706 reached on Monday.

It can be hard to imagine an oil shortage while driving past L.A.’s many bobbing oil pumps, but the spiking gas prices have to do with global production slowing down during the pandemic, and global production has not yet caught up with demand as the economy rebounds.

The Biden Administration has released 50 million barrels of oil from the federal strategic reserve aiming to lower gas prices.

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Jonathan Elkind with the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University says that move has already resulted in a 9% drop in oil prices per barrel in the last month.

“That's not trivial,” Elkind said. “And so that should work its way through to pump prices. And the American consumer will be in a better position than he or she would have been.”

Elkind notes that releasing more oil from the reserves is just a temporary fix saying, “I’d look and see what happens in the next couple of months when I think that they will return to production increases.”

Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring said that Northern California has already begun to see a slight decline in gas prices and that Southern California should soon follow.

In the meantime, he says there are ways to maximize the gas in your tank.

“As 3.8 million Southern California Thanksgiving travelers hit the road and then return home after the holiday, they should keep in mind that they can save on their fuel usage by properly inflating their tires and avoiding high-traffic periods such as this afternoon and evening.”

What questions do you have about Southern California?