The battle lines have been drawn along Ingraham Street with only Grand Avenue separating the two sides. It may come as no surprise that oil is involved or that the conflict has an immediate impact on the local region. The difference here is that the effect is a positive one — consumers win in the ongoing PB gas wars.
The two stations involved face each other across Grand Avenue along Ingraham Street. As the main thoroughfare to and from the freeway, thousands of drivers witness the price changes as often as two or three times a day.
Gino, owner of Pacific Beach Gas, was the first in the beach area to break the $3 a gallon barrier. For several weeks now his first task upon opening each morning is to adjust his gas price based on what he sees across the street, usually about a penny lower. He reasons, "I have to so we're competitive and I can because I'm an independent. They are corporate but they have the better corner."
Rachel, assistant store manager at the opposing station Valero said "The corporate office monitors the prices in the area. We change the rates whenever they tell us to or as often." According to Wolfram/Alpha the average price of a gallon of gas in California one year ago was $3.63. By comparison, the recent PB battle price of $2.89 represents a savings of over $14.00 each and every time a 20-gallon tank is filled.
At these prices there is speculation that this year even Santa may drive.