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Average gas prices likely to exceed $3 by Thursday, June 11.

Friday June 5, 6PM - For the last 60 days gas prices have risen in San Diego by an average of nearly a penny every 12 hours. If this trend continues (and it probably will) local gas prices should top $3.00 a gallon on average by Thursday afternoon - a 58% increase since the beginning of the year.

$3 a gallon is a critical psychological price barrier. On January First, San Diego gasoline averaged just $1.84 a gallon. In early December of 2008 it had plunged to a low of $1.71 a gallon.

According to UCAN's Gas Project manager, Charles Langley, the problem isn't high oil prices, rather, it is a lack of competition.

"The problem is that too few companies in California have too much control over the supply of gasoline" says Langley.  "The major oil companies have learned that maintaining high prices is all about inventory management, and right now they would rather cooperate insetead of compete. The oil industry understands that competition is bad for business because it leads to cost-cutting."

Langley points to the fact that oil inventories in the USA are at a 19-year high, and demand for gasoline is down by at least 10%. In that type of a market, he says, "the only way to increase prices is by restricting supply."

Gasoline Statistics from UCAN

Average price today = $2.912  (Friday June 5th)

Average Price this day last week = $2.72

Average price this day last month = $2.367 (May 5th)

Average price two months ago = $2.33 (April 5th)

Average price January 1 = $1.84

Average price this day last year = $4.44