SLO County gas prices spike to among highest nationwide

Amid a spike in gas prices across California, drivers are paying more at the pump in San Luis Obispo County than in nearly every other region nationwide.

As of Saturday morning, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in SLO County is $4.197, according to AAA. Only four counties in California, all of which have populations of less than 20,000 people, currently have higher average gas prices than SLO County.

In Los Angeles and San Francisco counties, where drivers often pay more at the pump, the current average gas prices are $4.078 and $4.163 respectively. Statewide, the average is $4.028, more than $1 more than the national average of $2.842.

Gas prices have spiked in California in recent weeks, with drivers in the state now paying the highest amount at the pump since July 2014. One month ago, the state average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $3.374.

AAA attributes the sharp gas price increase in California largely to both expected and unexpected maintenance upgrades and repairs taking place at refineries. Six of California’s 10 refineries have recently seen reductions in output, gasoline included, because of maintenance work and repairs.

Imports are currently helping resupply gasoline in California while refineries undergo repairs, but transportation expenses subsequently increased, and the added costs were passed on to the consumer. Additionally, there is currently a switchover to the more expensive summer-blend gasoline, which causes prices to increase nationwide.