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Gas Prices Soar on Central Coast, Throughout California

Station owner John Price says a 'perfect storm' of problems led to the spike

Customers fill up at the USA Gasoline station at 8 S. Milpas St. in Santa Barbara on Friday. The station offered some of the lower prices in the city.

Customers fill up at the USA Gasoline station at 8 S. Milpas St. in Santa Barbara on Friday. The station offered some of the lower prices in the city.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper |

Central Coast travelers wanting to make a weekend trip may think twice about fueling up their vehicles after gas prices jumped almost 20 cents a gallon from Thursday to Friday throughout California.

As of Friday afternoon, the lowest gas price on the South Coast was $4.39 at USA Gasoline at 4069 State St., according to Gasbuddy.com. The highest was $4.99 at El Ranchero Market, 1502 San Andres St.

Lompoc was the place to buy gas in Santa Barbara County on Friday afternoon, with several stations reporting prices between $4.15 and $4.19. Buellton’s cheapest gas was at USA Gas at 197 E. Highway 246, while Santa Maria’s best price was $4.39 at Gasco, 815 W. Main St.

The average price across in California on Friday was $4.48 per gallon.

Gasoline prices soared literally overnight on the Central Coast and throughout California on Friday. Regular gas at $4.49 was among the better prices locally. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo
Gasoline prices soared literally overnight on the Central Coast and throughout California on Friday. Regular gas at $4.49 was among the better prices locally. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

John Price, who is affiliated with 10 gas stations in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Montecito, told Noozhawk on Friday morning that he may be forced to shut down several stations temporarily due to the price increases.

Price called the situations surrounding the increases a “perfect storm,” revolving around a power outage that occurred Monday at Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Torrance, a Chevron pipeline that carries crude oil being down since September, and refineries dropping production to prepare for a seasonal switch to a different fuel blend.

“When product tightens up, we have to raise prices,” he said, adding that wholesale gasoline has increased 65 cents per gallon this week alone. “I’m hearing from a lot of consumers.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




comments powered by Disqus

» on 10.06.12 @ 01:46 PM

Can we all switch to electric cars now? And, take the bus and bike more?

» on 10.07.12 @ 03:07 AM

Because of onerous environmental regulations and too few refineries and pipeline infrastructure in Ca., we have gas prices almost a dollar higher than any other state. It also doesn’t help that we have a mixed blend gasoline not used anywhere else in the country. So when supplies are low, we can’t export from other states. Too bad voters never make the connection between bad public policy and high prices.

» on 10.09.12 @ 02:59 PM

The fact that the governor is rolling back on environmental regulations to help stop the price spike shows that Lou is right. What JustBobF fails, as most liberals do as well is realize how regressive high energy prices are on the poor.

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