Local

SLO County gas prices finally stopped rising. When will they fall back below $4?

Why gas prices topped $4 a gallon in California this year

Gas prices in San Luis Obispo County spiked at an average of more than $4 a gallon for several weeks in spring 2019 due to refinery outages and rising oil and ethanol prices.
Up Next
Gas prices in San Luis Obispo County spiked at an average of more than $4 a gallon for several weeks in spring 2019 due to refinery outages and rising oil and ethanol prices.

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.

The price drop comes after statewide gas prices cracked $4 per gallon for the first time since 2014. According to AAA, California has the highest average gas prices in the U.S.

“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.”

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune

  Comments