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SF Bay Area gas prices SUDDENLY UP $0.10 in one day, $0.20 in one week!

Supply shortages :-) pushed Bay Area gas prices up toward $4.50/gallon.

Some Southern California stations gave up and shut down!

Oh, California is ranked FOURTH in the nation in oil production! We also have a lot of companies with local oil refineries, one of which, Chevron, is under criminal investigation by the federal government for routing waste gases around air quality sensors 27 times in 4 years! charts the latest price hikes:

Commuting to her job at an insurance broker in Pleasant Hill, Glenda Bray saw prices at the local Chevron station climb 10 cents at lunch on Wednesday and another six cents by the time she got home. On Thursday, the station raised the price another 30 cents.

Duff Criley, a general contractor from Cupertino, figures he’ll spend $150 on gas this week to keep his GMC Sierra running to job sites — 20 to 30 bucks more than a few days earlier.

“This is ridiculous,” said Criley, 55, who pulled into a Valero station off Hamilton Avenue in San Jose where gas was selling for $4.61 a gallon. A station attendant told him that he had just raised the price 20 cents five minutes earlier. “It had been holding at $3.99 for a couple of weeks. Now this. You betcha this hurts.”

Today’s fuel price report by AAA, which lags about a day behind reality showed “…gas at $4.43 in San Francisco, $4.38 in San Jose and $4.35 in Oakland. Those prices are up 10 cents from the day before and 20 cents more than last week, mirroring trends around California, and are about 20 cents short of the all-time high from summer 2008.

The logical question in is, “How long will this last?”

“We have seen price spikes like this before and they’re usually short lived,” said Alison apRoberts, a spokeswoman for the California Energy Commission. “We really have no crystal ball. But we are optimistic that it is going to be short-lived — whether that’s days (or more, we) don’t quite know.”

My “gut feeling” is that it will last until after the Presidential Election. 😉 MY logical question is, “Do all of these price increases in California seem suspicious to you?” 😉

According to the Mercury News, the problem continues to be lack of supply. Do you suppose that they get their figures from the oil companies? 😉 A major Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Southern California is still struggling after losing electrical power on Monday. Chevron’s :-) Richmond refinery continues to produce less fuel after the major fire that it experienced on August 6. Chemical problems shut down a pipeline that sends gas from California’s Central Valley to the Bay Area this week. Phillips 66 plants at both ends of California are undergoing maintenance :-) work.

A problem, of course, is what to believe, if anything, from Big Oil. A company that would route waste gases around environmental sensors 27 times in four years, contributing to air pollution probably wouldn’t “bat an eye” at stretching the truth. 😉 Do you suppose that some people just like to “stick it to” California? :-)

It certainly SEEMS so!

Other states have seen gas prices stay flat in recent days and weeks. The nationwide average price at the pump, $3.78, is actually down a penny compared with a week ago, AAA reported.

Some stations in Southern California, including Costco, are shutting down pumps because the wholesale prices are too high – sometimes over $5/gallon. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) on Tuesday and yesterday reported its fifth- and sixth-highest passenger counts ever, as the result of the high gas prices and riders flocking to see the Oakland A’s playoff push.

I personally don’t see any reason to believe anything put forth by Big Oil companies, and I’ll likely switch from my four-wheeled black Honda to my two-wheeled black Honda. I sense an artificiality to the whole pricing of gasoline in California, and it appears that I am not alone!

“A month before the election, and it’s quite obvious the oil companies want (Mitt) Romney to win,” groused Lew Lamar, of Felton, as he surveyed gas prices on a drive to the Santa Cruz Harbor on Wednesday. “The price was $4.20-something. When I headed home, three hours later, they raised the price to $4.65. What a scam. Like they don’t get enough already.”

The numbers from the AAA Fuel Gauge Report tell the story, for those open-minded enough and intelligent enough to read them:

Gas prices

San Jose

Thursday: $4.376
Wednesday: $4.277
Week ago: $4.162

San Francisco

Thursday: $4.432
Wednesday: $4.334
Week ago: $4.245


Thursday: $4.348
Wednesday: $4.257
Week ago: $4.154


Thursday: $4.315
Wednesday: $4.232
Week ago: $4.133

United States

Thursday: $3.784
Wednesday: $3.782
Week ago: $3.795

-Bill at

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