We've said it before and we'll say it again - California's energy markets are easily gamed because of a lack of competition at the wholesale refinery level. One way to prop up a sagging market for gasoline is to issue a flaring event notice with the AQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District).
By the time you read this, gas prices in San Diego will have already started to decline, and the more you delay, the less you'll pay at local pumps.
Since about 1997, a meme has been travelling through the Internet that by somehow not buying gas on a certain day, the oil companies will somehow lower the prices. Called the "Great Gas Out" the idea is a one day boycott of gasoline. Actually, it isn't even a boycott, because a boycott means you stop using the product. Unfortunately, most of us can't stop using gasoline.
Gas prices in San Diego have surged upward, moving up 12.3¢ over the weekend at a rate of more than three cents a day. This is a major move by anyone's standard, and to the best of our knowledge the fastest and most aggressive 4-day price hike in the 13-year history of the UCAN.org Gas Project. The average prices below were recorded very early Monday morning. They have gone up since then. Our analysis of wholesale prices strongly suggests that gas prices could easily climb another 7¢ by Thursday afternoon.
Normally gas prices come into the New Year like a lamb and then roar like a lion in May. Not this year. In 2011, they're roaring out of the gate with a two-year record high.
This morning gas prices reached a new record high for the year of 3.314 a gallon, up six and one half cents over the Christmas weekend. "This is the highest price of the year," said UCAN Gasoline Analyst Charles Langley "And that's troubling because often, the lowest price of the year aoccurs on January 1."