Gas prices hit two-year high in California

Shell gas station on Lyons Avenue. Dan Watson/Signal

Gas prices are once again on the rise in California with a new two-year high, according to data gathered from

In Santa Clarita, the average gas price is currently at $3.36 per gallon for regular unleaded, according to a survey of 45 local gas stations on the crowdsourcing website and app for gas prices.

The lowest fuel price in the Santa Clarita Valley that doesn’t require a club membership is Newhall Fuel on Lyons Avenue, according to the survey site on Friday.

United Fuel, located on Bouquet Canyon Road, sits at $3.29 per gallon for regular unleaded. “It’s because (we) can afford it,” said Jose Romero, manager of United Fuel in Santa Clarita, who touted that the low price was based on the company’s volume of sales. “(We) have over 500 stations and we got known for low prices. We’re a large company.”

Gas prices are unusually higher in California, however, according to Jeffrey Spring, a spokesperson with the Autoclub of Southern California. Higher barrel prices, last year’s increase to the California gas tax and refineries shutting down to do a turn around to get prepared for the summer fuel demands are among the usual culprits of the increase, according to Spring.

Across the state the price of fuel has been on steady growth, up $0.04 from last week and up $0.36 since last month. California’s prices are the second highest on average in the country just behind Hawaii, whose fuel prices have been on a slight decline over the last month. The Legislature approved a statewide raise to the excise tax by $0.12 per gallon over ten years, in 2017.

In Los Angeles County alone, prices are up $0.36 over last year, though they are down a half-cent in the last week, and two cents since last month. Spring attributed the swings to the market taking a breath, adding there’s a forecast of higher prices for the spring.

Drivers looking to save gas can do something as simple as slowing down, Spring said. “The more you speed up, the worse it gets; if you go 70, drop to 65; driving 65 drop to 60 — manage the way you drive.”

Combing trips to create one long drive rather than a handful of short trips can also save some fuel, Spring said, or even something as simple as taking the extra weight out of the trunk can end up saving money in the long run.

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