Gas hits $7.59 a gallon in California town along Big Sur coast

Published: | Updated:

One California town along the Big Sur coast is seeing startling numbers at the pump - nearing $8 a gallon - as the cost of gasoline surges across the U.S. due to increasing crude oil prices and the continuing supply chain crisis.

Residents of Gorda, a small community situated on the central coast, on Thursday saw the price of a gallon of gas hit an alarming $7.59 - $4 more than the national average.

Premium gasoline had reached an equally astounding $8.50 per gallon.

The Golden State tops the list of the most expensive fuel in the country - the national average is $3.36 compared to California's $4.53 per gallon - as prices surge due to increasing crude oil costs and the continuing supply chain crisis. 

Gas costs continue to climb at an alarming rate across the nation, but California has seen the brunt of the spike, with several cities seeing gas prices more than $1 over the national average of $3.36 a gallon. Gorda gas costs more than $4 over the national average

Golden State gas is the most expensive in the nation, with the average cost on October 21 topping $4.53 per gallon compared to the cheapest, about $3 a gallon in Oklahoma

On one hand, Gorda is notorious along the California coast for some of the highest gas prices in the country, an apparent consequence of the town's remoteness and whereabouts in the Golden State. 

But prices are climbing at an alarming rate across the nation, and California is experiencing the brunt of the astonishing spike. 

As of Thursday, the national average gas price was $3.36 per gallon - a 17-cent increase over last September and $1.20 higher than last year - and the highest it has been since 2014, according to AAA

The average price for gas in Los Angeles County jumped to $4.51 Thursday - the highest it has been since October 2012. 

'Compared to the price of gas a year ago, it now costs consumers about $17 more to fill up their vehicles,' Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for the automotive organization, said in a statement Monday on the continuing crisis.

In California, the average price for gas jumped to $4.51 on Thursday in Los Angeles County - the highest it has been since October 2012, according to AAA

The national average gas price in the US was $3.36 per gallon on Thursday - a 17-cent increase over September and $1.20 higher than last year. It's also the highest it has been since 2014, according to AAA

'Unfortunately, it doesn't look like drivers will be finding relief at the pump any time soon,' he added.

The spike in gas prices is being fueled by soaring cost crude oil costs - now at more than $80 a barrel, according to AAA. 

That's up a shocking 25 percent from two months ago, when it hovered around $60 a barrel.

In a statement Monday, Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy - a company based in Boston that oversees apps and websites dedicated to finding real-time fuel prices for more than 150,000 gas stations in the U.S., Canada, and Australia - also blamed rising crude prices on the increase in gas prices, as well as the global supply chain crisis spurred by the COVID pandemic.

De Haan said the national average gas price had soared 'to yet another fresh seven-year high, as the price of oil continues to drag gas prices along for the wild ride, leaving motorists on empty.

'Until several bottlenecks ease, including supply chains and low global inventories of oil, natural gas and coal, we'll be stuck feeling the pinch of rising oil and gasoline prices.

'The bad news is that for now, all I see is the upward trend at the pump continuing into the weeks ahead with no sign of relief just yet.'

On Thursday, residents of Gorda, a small community situated on California's central coast, saw the price of a regular unleaded gallon of gas hit an alarming $7.59. Premium gasoline, similarly, saw an increase to an equally astounding $8.50 per gallon

California continues to see the worst of the calamity.

Experts theorize the higher cost of gasoline there is due to higher taxes and regulations on gas and carbon emissions statewide - but, they also add that is just a fraction of the problem.

The largest manufacturers charge more in California simply because they can, while big oil companies have held back on increasing their own supply after experiencing huge cuts to their profits and workforce last year because of the pandemic, The New York Times reported.

And gas prices are expected to continue to climb as global demand for oil remains high. 

What's more, the build-up of massive container ships along the California Coast - which boasts the two most popular seaports in the entire country, Los Angeles and Long Beach - could also increase the price of and demand for a variety of goods, including oil. 

Those ports - the nation’s largest - shattered more records Monday as massive bottlenecks there continue to wreak supply-chain havoc.

The Marine Exchange of Southern California reported 100 vessels berthed October 18, topping the previous record of 97 set September 19.

Both figures are astonishingly higher than during pre-pandemic times, when just 17 ships were anchored.