According to the most recent data from the American Automobile Association, the average price of a gallon of self-serve normal gasoline in California is now a stunning $5.28, up from $3.73 at the same time last year.
According to AAA, the average gas price for regular-grade fuel in Los Angeles County is $5.37 per gallon, an increase from $4.67 per gallon a month ago and $3.79 per gallon a year ago. The national average price of gasoline is $4 per gallon.
Experts believe that Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, as well as an increase in gas consumption combined with a reduction in overall supply, are contributing to the growing prices, which are expected to continue to rise as oil prices continue to rise.
As a result of pandemic supply-chain concerns and inflation, gas prices had already skyrocketed before Russia, one of the world’s leading suppliers of petroleum and other crude oil, invaded neighboring Ukraine and ignited Europe’s largest ground war in more than 75 years.
According to Eric Swanson, an economics professor at the University of California, Irvine, low-income households will be hurt the hardest by the growing cost of petrol and housing. Eventually, he predicts, it will also result in increased prices for commodities that are carried.
They have already done so in a number of locations throughout the Southland.
According to Carlos Perez, owner of C.P. Towing Service in El Monte, California, rising gas prices have recently compelled him to boost his rates for a variety of services, including a simple tire change and towing wrecked cars.
“It’s just the nature of the business,” he explained. “Everything is increasing in value.”
For Perez, 55, who runs the business on his own and frequently works 14-hour days, the service area normally includes Los Angeles and Orange counties, but he also makes pickups in other areas, such as one that was more than 700 miles away.
Because of the high mileage, he fills up his 2016 Peterbilt flatbed truck practically every day, spending $200 each time — an increase from $160 at this time last year, he said.
It has been difficult, but Perez finds encouragement in the loyalty and great feedback of his clients, who have supported him throughout.
“Gas prices are skyrocketing, but what can you do?” he explained. “I’m relieved that work hasn’t been suspended.”