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Statewide Gas Prices Nearing All-Time High

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The cost of a gallon of gas is creeping upwards, and needless to say, people are unhappy about it.

"It sucks," said Robert Matthews of Modesto.

Gasoline prices are inching toward an all-time high. According to AAA, the statewide average is now $4.62 per gallon. The highest price ever in California came in October of 2012 at $4.67 per gallon.

Patrick De Haan of Gas Buddy says the price spike has multiple causes, first and foremost, the cost of a barrel of oil. "A lot of that is due to a global surge in demand. Oil production, oil supply has lagged far behind, yesterday OPEC re-iterating that it is increasing production, but at a slower pace than what the White House would like to be at," he told KPIX5 via Zoom.

Gasoline taxes have gone up significantly since October 2012, now totaling just shy of .67 cents a gallon.

But another piece of the blame is the recent atmospheric river that pounded the Bay Area and it's refineries for nearly 24 hours. Much of the refining equipment is outdoors and got hit with inches of rain and wind.

"It's hard to know what exactly would result in the slow down there, but, a deluge of water certainly could make very sensitive equipment have some issues. And that's what refineries encountered. It wasn't big issues, but it was enough to slow down temporarily the production of gasoline and that's why prices jumped a little bit from those outages," said De Haan.

The why doesn't matter all that much to folks like Michael Baterson of Contra Costa County. "It's five dollars 29 cents for premium, which is what I'm using. I mean, it's making a big difference. 73 bucks to fill up."

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