California gas prices notched a new all-time high Monday as prices nationwide continue to flare up amid rapidly spiking inflation throughout the economy.
Monday’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in California rose to $4.682, according to the American Automobile Association, slightly higher than Sunday’s figure, which broke the former record of $4.671 previously set in October 2012.
California — the country’s largest state by population — has the highest gas prices in the US, according to AAA’s pricing data.
The nationwide average cost of gas hit $3.415 per gallon on Monday, down slightly from a week ago, according to AAA.
In a press release last week, the Automobile Club of Southern California attributed recent price increases to “refinery issues.”
Heavy rainstorms in Northern California have hampered production capacity, CNN reported, which has limited supply and driven up prices across the state and region.
The Automobile Club of Southern California said it expects 3.8 million drivers to hit the roads for the Thanksgiving holiday, and is “urging travelers to minimize their fuel expense by making sure their tires are properly inflated.”
The group also urged drivers to search around for the cheapest prices along their route or in their area.
“Drivers are paying $1.50 more per gallon than a year ago,” Doug Shupe, a spokesperson for AAA, told CNN.
“It means the person who has the typical midsize sedan with a 14 gallon size fuel tank, they’re paying $21 more to fill up that tank today than last year.”
Shupe attributed the price spike to higher crude oil prices in addition to pent-up demand for travel as Americans look to make up for trips lost due to the pandemic.
Crude oil prices have eased back slightly in recent weeks, but are still hanging around $80 per barrel.
Brent crude oil futures fell just over 1 percent in premarket trading Monday, to $81.21 per barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude fell just below $80 to $79.81 per barrel as of 8:30 a.m. ET.
White House officials have, for the most part, insisted that spiraling gas prices are out of their control, though more recently, oil analysts have speculated that the administration might release oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cool prices.
Sen. Chuck Schumer over the weekend called on President Joe Biden to tap the reserve.
“No industry is spared. But fuel gasoline is the worst of all,” Schumer said at a press conference about the ongoing supply chain disruptions. “Let’s get the price of gas down right now. And this will do it.”