Drastic increases in gas prices troubling L.A. region motorists

Drastic increases in gas prices troubling L.A. region motorists

Drastic increases in gas prices in Los Angeles amid a shortage of refined petroleum are causing unprecedented troubles for motorists in the region.

Dean Smith, a 54-year-old driver said he was feeling as "mad as hell" on Monday when he had to pay $4.65 for a gallon of gas at a 76 gasoline station pump. He grumbled that he would have to work on the side as an Uber driver to be able to pay his bills. Gas prices have hit as high as $5 per gallon in the region, and industry analysts have predicted prices of the fuel could continue to rise for a few more days before coming down.

Motorists in the Los Angeles-Long Beach region have seen a price rise of 50 cents per gallon of the fuel from a week ago, data compiled by the Automobile Club of Southern California suggested.

Tesoro Corp.'s Carson plant recently decreased its refining capacity for maintenance. In February, Tesoro had to stop production at its Martinez-based refinery following a nationwide union walkout. Exxon also scaled back operations at its Torrance facility following an explosion in February.

Marie Montgomery, a spokesperson for the Auto Club, said, "The market is responding to all of these pressures. Until the refineries resolve the problems . prices will probably continue to go up at the gas stations."

The Los Angeles-Long Beach region's average gas price was recorded at $4.05 per gallon on Monday, notably up from statewide average price of $3.72. National average stood at $2.77 a gallon.

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