Last Updated:October 30 @ 05:39 pm

More pain at pump as Calif. gas prices rise again

By Christopher Weber

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The statewide average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in California rose to an all-time high Monday, the third record-setting day in a row that is prompting calls for a federal investigation into the price spike.

The average price in the state hit $4.668, according to AAA. Sen.Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called on the Federal Trade Commissionto investigate, saying residents need to be protected from "malicious trading schemes."

Spokesmen for the FTC in Washington didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

Feinstein in her letter Sunday asked the FTC to determine if the price spike was caused by illegal manipulation of the market and to start monitoring the market for fraud, manipulation, or other malicious trading practices.

"Publically available data appears to confirm that market fundamentals are not to blame for rising gas prices in California," she wrote.

Despite a pipeline and refinery shutdown, she said, state data shows gas production last week was "almost as high as a year ago, and stockpiles of gasoline and blending components combined were equal to this time last year," she said.

In some locations, fuming motorists paid $5 or more per gallon while station owners had to shut down pumps in others.

A station in Long Beach south of Los Angeles had California's priciest gas at $6.65 for a gallon of regular, according to GasBuddy.com. Meanwhile, customers at an outlet in San Pablo north of Oakland paid just $3.49, the lowest.

The dramatic surge came after a power outage at a Southern California refinery that reduced supply in an already fragile and volatile market, analysts said. The refinery came back online Friday.

Prices were expected to stabilize in the coming days. Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, predicted the average price could peak as high as $4.85 before coming back down.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday ordered state smog regulators to allow winter-blend gasoline to be sold in California earlier than usual to bring down prices.

Winter-blend gas typically isn't sold until after October 31. Few refineries outside the state are currently making summer-blend gas, putting the pressure on already-taxed California manufacturers.

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Business Writer Marcy Gordon in Washington contributed to this report.

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10 Comments

  1. handymanherbComment by handymanherb
    October 8, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    Funny how Pres Bush got blamed for high gas prices but in Obama’s case it’s the oil company’s making him look bad.

    The left is beyond belief

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    • brierebearComment by brierebear
      October 8, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      Few blamed Bush … most people understand that speculation and the FREE MARKET affected, and still affects, oil and gas prices.

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      Rating: 1.0/5 (2 votes cast)
  2. noveldogComment by noveldog
    October 8, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    Hoover said he was gong to put a chicken in every pot, but he put folks riding in Hoover carts. Well BHO was for Hope and Change. Now about all we have is a little change and our hope is about gone. If gas keeps going up we will soon be walking, or maybe riding in one of those Hoover Carts? It seems BHO has taken us back in time to where we were so long, long ago.

    Soup anyone?

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    Rating: 3.5/5 (8 votes cast)
  3. bohicaComment by bohica
    October 8, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    Maybe the higher the gas price it may will wake-up the liberals in California and vote for Romney in Nov.

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    • brierebearComment by brierebear
      October 8, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

      What could Romney do about worldwide oil prices that Obama, Bush and previous presidents haven’t done? And don’t give the **** that domestic oil production (already at its highest in ages) will provide “independence” from foreign oil … that point will never occur.

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    • ggarrett34Comment by ggarrett34
      October 8, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

      They are NOT smart enough to vote for Romney!

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    • JDZComment by JDZ
      October 8, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

      We need more refinery capacity in this country which creates gasoline out of oil. We need to back off from all of these complex blends that are not needed anymore with the new cars we have with fuel injection and electronic engine management. We could cut the amount of government sales tax on gasoline. We could back off on the overbearing EPA regulations that are killing the coal industry, and open up exploration for both oil and natural gas. We could cut back on the government bureaucracy and zealot environmentalist lobbyists who are making the construction of nuclear power plants more and more expensive. The less OPEC oil we buy the less money leaves the USA and goes offshore to foreign oil producers who make the profit instead of domestic companies.

      If we do all of the above, the cost of producing both oil and gasoline will come down in this country and pull down the cost of oil on the world market. The more oil out there the lower the cost will eventually be, but in terms of fuel oil, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, etc. pricing, we need to have modern refineries that have a lower conversion cost.

      It can happen because the USA may actually be the largest individual customer for oil producers and we have considerable influence on the world market.

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  4. aretiredgiComment by aretiredgi
    October 8, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

    Is it my imagination or are high roller states more susceptible to insane gas fluctuations? ILLinOIS (Obama), Mexifornia (Pelosi)?

    Now Feinstein is going crazy…..wants a congressional investigation, blah, blah, blah, is she up for re-election too?

    Hey, all those movie starzs can afford it.

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  5. wedeyComment by wedey
    October 8, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

    It couldn’t happen to a nicer state. They are all so liberal, they shouldn’t mind at all. Well, you guys out there just keep voting this man in.

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  6. bigjohn555Comment by bigjohn555
    October 8, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    California repeatedly has elected many of the most liberal politicians around. This is what they do. The tree huggers are merely a group of “disruptors.” They want to disrupt as much business as they can and create as much havoc as they can.
    If the voters of California don’t change the make-up of their legislature in November,

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