Why gas prices topped $4 a gallon in California this year
After weeks of pain at the pump, SLO County is starting to see a drop in prices that topped $4 for the first time in five years.
Prices in San Luis Obispo were averaging $4.20 per gallon on Wednesday, down from last week’s average of $4.25 a gallon, according to GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan.
“It looks like a little bit of relief has started, which is consistent with the statewide average,” DeHaan said. The average gas price in California is $4.06 a gallon, down from $4.12 last week, DeHaan said.
In San Luis Obispo County, prices on Wednesday ranged from $3.79 at the Sinclair on Morro Bay Boulevard in Morro Bay to $4.79 at the Chevron on Main Street in Cambria, according to GasBuddy’s website.
Gas prices locally hit $4 per gallon on April 16 and started slowly declining after May 5, DeHaan said.
“We’re cautiously optimistic now that the worst is behind us and relief is on the horizon for nearly every area in the country,” DeHaan said in a GasBuddy news release. “Motorists shouldn’t get too impatient — this won’t happen overnight — but as stations begin to fill their tanks with slightly cheaper gasoline, they’ll begin to pass the savings on, just in time for Memorial Day and beyond.”
However, California gas prices might not dip below $4 until perhaps June, DeHaan said.
“I think it’s inevitable that prices in much of California will fall back under $4,” DeHaan said. “The timing is what’s up in the air.”
DeHaan said prices aren’t expected to shoot back up anytime soon.
“The risk is there there could be some bumps in the road,” he said. “But what we’ve seen already is as bad as it’s going to get this year.”