Gas Prices On The Rise Across Southern California

Early in the pandemic, drivers saw lower gas prices, but now the cost of gas appears to be on the rise. Michele Gile reports.

Video Transcript

- Well, early in the pandemic, drivers saw lower gas prices. But now that the economy is starting to open up, gas prices are going up as well. KCAL 9 Orange County reporter Michele Gile has a look at why the cost of gas is on the rise.

- It's ridiculous. Who can go anywhere?

- It's horrible.

FRANK FERRINI: I'm kind of embarrassed sometimes to go in and say, "$10 worth of gas?"

MICHELE GILE: But that's exactly what Frank Ferrini did this afternoon at an Arco in Laguna Woods. With gas over the $4 a gallon mark, he's penny-pinching to fill up his gas-guzzling SUV, and will head to a cheaper station to top off his tank.

FRANK FERRINI: I'm here for $10 worth of gas, so I go to my other gas station where it's a lot cheaper.

MICHELE GILE: How much cheaper?

FRANK FERRINI: I think it's-- over there, it's $2.387. And I think this is what? $4.17, so it's quite a bit.

MICHELE GILE: Prices at the pump keep climbing, and now average $3.99 in LA County for a gallon of self-serve regular. That's up 2.7% a gallon from a week ago, 9 and 1/2 cents from a month ago, and up $1.08 compared to this same time last year.

It's why Chuck Thompson always chooses his motorcycle for the commute from Corona to Irvine.

- What'd you buy, man?

MICHELE GILE: He's the sales manager at Orange County Harley-Davidson. His Jeep Cherokee sits in the driveway Monday through Friday to cut down on expenses.

CHUCK THOMPSON: So in gas a week in my car, I'd probably put about $80 to $85 at the gas prices right now. And that takes regular unleaded. My Harley takes premium 91, and I could fill it up for about $20, and I can ride the entire week for my entire five-day workweek here. So I'm saving about $60, roughly $65 a week in gas.

MICHELE GILE: Experts say the price of oil is a major factor in our current prices. There's also California's springtime switch to the more expensive summer blend gasoline.

- Supply and demand? I don't think so. I'm just very irritated.

MICHELE GILE: In Lake Forest, Michele Gile, KCAL 9 News.