The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

After the Chevron refinery fire, Gas prices in Los Angeles are rising fast

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It’s been about a week since a fire shut down one of Chevron’s two refineries in California. Now gas prices in Southern California are starting to climb and climb fast. So if you need to fill up your tank you’re going to be emptying a little more of your wallet. The average price of a gallon of regular gas has jumped more than 20 cents since last week, according to

That's $3.88 to $4.09 — in less than seven days! Note that this is much higher than the national average of $3.68 per gallon.

The dreaded $4-a-gallon threshold has been breached in Los Angeles. Blame the fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery in the Bay Area, where 15 percent of the gas that keeps California moving is produced.

The big jump in prices hasn’t surprised anyone. Analysts who follow the oil and gas markets predicted last week that prices for California’s special blend of cleaner-burning fuel would spike. But if four bucks a gallon sounds bad, how does…five bucks strike you? At several stations in Los Angeles, that’s just about where prices are right now. Chevron hasn’t yet started to repair the Richmond refinery, so expect high Southland gas prices to stay elevated for at least the next few weeks.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter. And ask Matt questions at Quora.

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