Here we go again.
Gas prices are above or near an average of $4 a gallon statewide, and are already well over that dreaded mark in Southern California. GasBuddy.com showed gas selling for $4.01 on Thursday, while the AAA listed the state average at $3.99 — a jump of three cents from Wednesday, 22 cents from a week ago and 37 cents from last month.
While drivers may not yet be freaking out like last year, when the record of $4.67 was reached on Oct. 9, they are none too pleased, especially with the peak summer driving time still months away.
“The fact that nationally we are using less gas but the cost goes up is really frustrating,” said Jim Matthews, 56, a librarian from Alameda. “And that makes us feel helpless.”
Energy watchers blame the usual factors — high crude prices, refinery problems and the conversion to California’s more expensive summer blend of fuel, which requires a slowdown in production before the change.