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San Diego gas prices are now $4.69 a gallon for regular, higher than Los Angeles's $4.66 and Orange County's $4.65, according to Charles Langley of Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN). The current price is now the highest in California history. The $4.69 breaks a record, adjusted for inflation, dating back to World War One. The cause appears to be refinery disruptions and rationing by suppliers. On Monday, a power failure at Exxon Mobil's Torrance refinery shut down some production. On Thursday, UCAN predicted that gas prices could shoot up 40 cents a gallon by Monday. San Diego is now only 4 cents from making the prediction a reality.

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Comments

David Dodd Oct. 6, 2012 @ 3:07 p.m.

That's okay, at the rate the FED is printing money, a loaf of bread will soon cost the same as a gallon of petrol.

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FatCatSegat Oct. 6, 2012 @ 3:17 p.m.

And you're surprised? C'mon people! Can't you see it coming? Do you really think that its going to get better? Its not! Look around you. Young, ignorant, and emotionally damaged results of our overindulgence are out there running the streets. They're also gonna be in charge of it all. All we've taught them is that money is everything. We're nothing more than a pathetic money hungry culture of merchants who've singlehandedly wreaked havoc on the world trying to sate the unquenchable thirst of greed that began when Columbus landed on san salvador back in 1492 when the now polluted oceans were in fact blue. (According to the infamous rhyme we were all brought up on to remind us when he sailed off from Espana) Oh,by the way, this is me being positive! As a student of history who has actually paid attention to the patterns we've set in motion, I'd say its just about over for our present civilization. Care to respond to that? C'mon people, lets get real! I want a hug and a bit of positive reassurance now and then too. I somehow hold deep in my heart that one day the madness will all stop. I swear by all that is holy to me that I would gladly give my life to change it all but, the wheels are all in motion and they've gained too much speed to slow "progress" down. Get the ones you love closer and try to mend those fences to get the lost ones closer. Love each other, and appreciate individuality. Most of all, just love each other!

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mkfrmsd Oct. 6, 2012 @ 5:02 p.m.

REALLY!! Yes Surprised, Surprised that NOONE is doing anything about it!! Any Excuse to raise prices, they are full of shit! Problem is NOONE is doing anything about it so they think that they can challenge the system and get away with it, which the have so far!! GOV NEEDS TO STEP IN AND STEP UP, KILLING US WITH THESE PRICES! PISSED OFF, YEA SURE THEY HAVE TO RAISE PRICES BECAUSE OF POWER OUTAGE, BS THEIR PROFITS ARE 5 TIMES WHAT THEY USUALLY ARE!!! HHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

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RenFaiz Oct. 6, 2012 @ 5:09 p.m.

"C'mon people!" ?
Another standard cliche, in company with, Awesome, Keep in Touch, and Happy Camper.
Not only do the oil companies have us by the balls and the politicians in their pockets, but commentary on the newsy articles are 7th grade, powerless, redneck rants. Absolutely hilarious.

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Don Bauder Oct. 6, 2012 @ 7:06 p.m.

Refried: The Fed's frenetic money printing will end up in asset bubbles or inflation, or both. When a loaf of bread costs as much as a gallon of gas does now, what will a gallon of gas cost? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 6, 2012 @ 7:08 p.m.

FatCat: Yes, greed has always been with us, but it really escalated beginning in the 1980s, and is still burgeoning. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 6, 2012 @ 7:12 p.m.

mkfrmsd: SDGE will continue to get outrageous prices and profits from the CPUC until Gov. Brown wakes up and gets Peevey and Simon out of there. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 6, 2012 @ 7:14 p.m.

RenFaiz: Yes, the oil companies have the pols in their pockets and the people in, essentially, domestic servitude. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Oct. 7, 2012 @ 9:28 a.m.

When in Norway about a year ago, their regular gasoline was selling for the equivalent of $10 a gallon. The 5 to 6 million Norwegians are as rich as Kuwaitis, only there's no royal family living the Life of Riley. So, with all that oil and oil wealth, the Norwegians could indulge themselves to gasoline at $1 a gallon, but instead they keep it at a price higher than most other European countries. I'd hate to see that happen here. While I don't drive these outrageous gas hogs, I'm not running around in the tiniest car I can find either. One thing "Dubya" claimed is that the federal government, meaning he as president, could not do was affect the price of motor fuel. That's nonsense because there hasn't been anything like a free market for petroleum in 60 to 70 years. Worse yet, there's an administered market for the final products here in the US. And the more the oil companies have combined, the less real competition there is.

But here in California, if you are looking for a lack of competition, look at the consumption of fuels vs. the refinery capacity. The last new refinery in the state was built, maybe, in the 60's, and a few smaller ones have been shuttered since then. They can just barely produce enough of California blend summer gasoline to meet the demand, even at these high prices. Thank the air pollution regulations that came out of Sacramento for that. So, between the politicians in state government and the environmentalist NIMBY's and big oil, we have pseudo-shortages of an essential commodity, even though the supply of the raw material, petroleum (aka "crude") is plentiful.

Yes, California, we've done this number on ourselves in large part.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 7, 2012 @ 2:45 p.m.

We should 86 these dumb blends, and at the very least in emergencies ignore them and truck in Petrol from other out of state sources.

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Psycholizard Oct. 7, 2012 @ 3:32 p.m.

i doubt this is caused by general inflationary pressure here. US oil consumption has dropped, most prices here seem stable. To suggest that the Fed should intervene to stop inflation now seems almost as crazy as a BLS denying Republican. Foreigners will hold dollars at no interest, the market has spoken.

Those who can remember San Diego before air pollution laws, will never casually consider weakening them to save a few dollars. At least we can walk or paddle our surfboards to work without choking on smog.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 8, 2012 @ 8:32 a.m.

This spike in oil/gas prices happens every 2,3 or 4 years, and EVERYTIME it happens the Feds, usually Difi or Boxer, or some Congress Clown starts an "investigation", and that is the last you hear of it.

In fact yesterday Difi made this EXACT same claim, she is starting another "investigation" into the spiking-and it will end like the other 10 or so she has started, with a big fat nothing.

Folks, we live in a banana republic, get used to it. As someone pointed out, we have not had a free market in oil and gas since the 1950's.

Standard Oil was busted up into 39 different companies over 100 years ago, and it reformed into an oligarchy in the 1950's, where 4-6 major oil companies cornered the market-much like Standard did at the turn of the century, only Standard Oil did a lot of good in addition to their price fixing.

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Don Bauder Oct. 8, 2012 @ 7:35 a.m.

Visduh: This will be considered heresy, but I will say it: we need HIGHER gasoline prices, such as Europe has. Even fatter taxes on gas will fill government coffers, but more importantly, would force people to drive less and buy more fuel-efficient cars. It would force governments to get serious about transit and demand that auto companies produce far more fuel-efficient cars. It would make monstrous fuel-eating rec vehicles obsolete, possibly. But, I fear, such a move is politically impossible. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 8, 2012 @ 8:26 a.m.

Higher gas taxes, higher ANY TAXES will fill public employees pockets, and that is it-it will never benefit the whole as they should. Look where we are today, gov mechanics making $100K PLUS salaries, gov parking lot attendants making $75K salaries, gov meter aids making $100K in total comp, gov life guards with $200K salaries.......sorry Don, the taxes being paid today are going 90% to the benefits of a small, tiny sliver of the state-public employees, while everyone else is stuck with the costs- without proper food and nutrition, going homeless, w/o healthcare, without basic necessities of life while GED educated cops, fire whiners and prison guards are top 1%Er's today. We disagree on this one, vehemently I would say .....

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Visduh Oct. 8, 2012 @ 8:46 p.m.

About the time the US became heavily dependent upon imported petroleum it could have taken steps to raise motor fuel prices to encourage reduced consumption. US voters were, for good reason, unwilling to see the stuff taxed to the hilt, because the revenue would not have been used to benefit the motor vehicle user. Instead we've seen a generation of huge SUV's and monster pickups that guzzle gasoline in a most intemperate way. (BTW, that term sport/utility vehicle might have described some things made over twenty years ago, but the present day SUV isn't sporty--flashy maybe, but not sporty--and is not utilitarian at all. A great misnomer, and few even know where "SUV" came from, or what it means.)

The US auto industry has made few real efforts to reduce fuel consumption, until recently. But how many of us know anyone who car pools any more? That was a feature for office workers a generation ago, but now very few wage slaves or general salarymen/women will actually do any sort of ride sharing. Some small adjustments to those "life style" issues could make a huge difference. Will it take 87 octane at $10 a gallon to really alter behavior?

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Don Bauder Oct. 8, 2012 @ 7:36 a.m.

SP: Some think the oil companies' sudden outbreak of refinery problems is politically inspired. It's possible, but not probable. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Oct. 8, 2012 @ 11:07 a.m.

I agree that the "problems" are not politically inspired. I believe part of the problem is their age. The last new oil refinery in California was built at least 35 yrs ago. There was a new refinery being proposed for the Yuma area, but it stalled out last year. Another was being talked about for South Dakota, but that company let it's land options expire at the end of last month. There is a lawsuit over the air quality permits that is before the state supreme court that might have had something to do with it. Either of those 2 refineries would have been the first to be go online since 1976. I think there are about 135 refineries in the US, give or take a couple, which is down from somewhere around 250 about 30 yrs ago. The figure is a little misleading, because even though the number of refineries is down, according to DOE, capacity has increased by about 800k barrels per day. I think part of the issue id than when you are running fewer refineries at higher level of operating capacity, when one goes down, for either scheduled or unscheduled reasons, the drain on the rest of the system is greater. Plus operating the plants at a higher capacity requires more frequent "routine" maintenance and , so it seems, more frequent breakdowns because they are being operated at a higher capacity. You add to that the lack of refining capacity here in California and the relative dirth of pipelines gasoline pipelines into Ca. and you get what we have right now. Just my opinion. Opinions vary.

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Don Bauder Oct. 8, 2012 @ 7:41 a.m.

Psycholizard: In the long run, the Fed's manic money creation will produce asset bubbles, inflation, or both. But probably not as long as the economy remains weak -- another reason Bernanke prays every night that the economy only recovers tepidly, if at all. Frenetic money creation does raise commodity prices, including oil prices, but oil prices are subject to many variables and are quite volatile. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 8, 2012 @ 10:36 a.m.

SP: Through consolidation and other maneuvers, the oil industry has obliterated the trust-busting reforms of Teddy Roosevelt. This is not much different than how Wall Street got to control the Securities and Exchange Commission, and how California corporations kidnapped the redevelopment process: it was intended to aid rundown neighborhoods and became a welfare machine for private sector fat cats. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 8, 2012 @ 5:37 p.m.

SP: Government bureaucrats would probably get part of the increase in gas taxes -- agreed. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 8, 2012 @ 5:39 p.m.

Tom: Lack of refinery capacity could be one reason for higher gas prices. You have to look at oil prices in the commodity markets, too -- they are not only volatile, but frequently manipulated. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Oct. 9, 2012 @ 9:23 a.m.

Don Bauder, what commodities AREN'T manipulated? That's exactly why I stay away from them, for the most part, anyway.

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Don Bauder Oct. 8, 2012 @ 5:40 p.m.

Mencken: Why is it that you and your namesake, H.L., so often speak the truth? Best, Don Bauder

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Psycholizard Oct. 8, 2012 @ 7:40 p.m.

The Iranian embargo is one factor. This may cost us at the pump, but it's cheaper than the war some hope for.

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Don Bauder Oct. 8, 2012 @ 7:44 p.m.

Middle East policies are usually factors. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 11, 2012 @ 5:59 p.m.

UCAN CALLS FOR AG INVESTIGATION OF GASOLINE PRICE GOUGING. Utility Consumers' Action Network has requested that Attorney General Kamala Harris investigate the failure of the California gasoline market. UCAN wants her to look into possible intentional under-production of fuel to restrict supply; dumping of fuel overseas to restrict supply, and questionable "flaring events" at Exxon/Mobil, among other things. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 11, 2012 @ 6:23 p.m.

LOL...I have seen 10, 12 maybe even 15 of these so called "investigations".

A sideshow, nothing more, and nothing will change.

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Don Bauder Oct. 11, 2012 @ 10:14 p.m.

SP, it sounds like you suspect that the investigators are really "investigators." You are probably right in most cases. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 12, 2012 @ 9:04 a.m.

It is just a sideshow, I have seen it so many times, and it is all the same, NOTHING changes, nothing happens.

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Don Bauder Oct. 12, 2012 @ 3:01 p.m.

SP, I think you have to admit the Watergate investigations were meaningful. Best, Don Bauder

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