Decrease ends 11-week Climb in amount paid at pump
Gasoline prices made a U-turn in Santa Clarita this week, reversing an 11-week climb to drop 1 cent. Averages throughout Santa Clarita have held steady for the last two weeks, a breath of fresh air for many local residents who have watched prices jump more than 30 cents during the previous two-week period, according to a survey conducted for The Signal by Randy Cressall, owner of the Valencia Chevron AutoSpa. “Nationally, gasoline refineries are producing at higher levels and consumer demand for gas is almost flat compared to last year,” said Carol Thorp, spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California. “That’s removed a lot of the upward pressure on Southern California gas prices.” Throughout Santa Clarita, the price for one gallon of regular unleaded self-serve dropped to a valley-wide average of $3.379, down 1 cent from last week’s $3.389 average. That price is the combined average of neighborhood stations and the ones situated along the highway, where prices tend to be a few cents higher. The neighborhood stations averaged $3.365 for a gallon of regular unleaded Thursday, up one-tenth of a cent from last week and 33 cents from last month. The highway stations, on the other hand, averaged $3.394, down 2 cents from last week and 27.5 cents from last month. Prices in the San Fernando Valley similarly began to level off last week and posted almost no increase this week. The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area rose only three-tenths of a cent this week to $3.401, about 43 cents higher than last month and 90 cents higher than last year. After several months of spiraling prices, the slowdown of the recent weeks could bode well for the future, Thorp said. “If prices remain near their current levels for a couple of weeks, it may indicate that we are at a peak,” she said.
On a broader scale, May’s current statewide average is $3.378, up from $2.860 in April and eclipsing the prior all-time record high of $3.054 that was set Sept. 9, 2005. Nationally, the average is $2.943, up from $2.686 in April, Auto Club figures show. The state with the highest gas price average is currently Hawaii at $3.40 per gallon. The lowest average can be found in Oklahoma, where prices currently sit at $2.712 per gallon.
This story can be found in Saturday’s Signal newspaper.