After weeks of lowering gas prices, on July 9 at 2:00 p.m., the gas-price website gasbuddy.com sent its San Diego subscribers a text alert: “Gas prices expected to rise 15–30 cents. Fill up now.”
By the time the alert had been issued, gas prices at the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Chevron and Valero stations, on Birmingham Drive at I-5, had already shot up 20 cents a gallon from the posted price the day before.
The price spike is apparently caused by a report released on July 8 by the federal Energy Information Administration. “West Coast gasoline inventory declined by over 1 million barrels (42 million gallons) and at the same time, fuel imports into the region fell to zero for the first time since March,” the report stated.
Shortly after the release of the government's report, wholesale prices for the Los Angeles area went crazy. Gasbuddy.com reported, “Over the next 24-48 hours we would not be surprised to see average retail prices in Southern California climb by 10-cents.
At the same time as the gasbuddy alert, the Sacramento Bee reported on its website, “Analysts say they were caught off guard by the spike and do not know how long it will last. Southern California motorists could see a 50 cent surge in a week’s time.”
Statewide, the average price for cash-paid regular gas rose by 3.4 cents in the 24-hour period since the report’s release.