Currently, the average price of gas is $4.79, which is 10 cents more than a week ago and 29 cents higher than a month ago.
The Orange County average price rose for the 15th time, increasing 2 cents to $4.763, which is the highest amount since Dec. 2.
"Oil Price Information Service reports that the Wilmington portion of the Phillips 66 Los Angeles refinery reported unplanned flaring last week and several other West Coast refineries are having issues, while the California Energy Commission reported significantly lower inventories of gasoline last week," said Doug Shupe, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager.
"This time last year in Southern California, gas prices were breaking records almost every day due to inflation and higher oil prices in the ramp-up to the Russia-Ukraine war. Unfortunately, today's average prices are very similar to this time last year because Southern California's gas price averages remained well above $4 a gallon even at their lowest point of 2022," he added.
The major reason behind the high gas prices is due to President Joe Biden shut down oil and gas lease sales from the nation's vast public lands and waters due to worries about climate change, and while this is temporary, environmentalists want it to be permanent.
The burning of oil, gas, and coal from government-owned lands and waters is one of the major sources of U.S. emissions, and they account for 24% of the nation's greenhouse gases.
However, emission reductions from a permanent leasing ban would be minimal, only about 91 million metric tons annually, or less than 1% of global fossil fuel emissions, according to a study by a nonprofit research group.
Environmentalists and others want more aggressive action against climate change and are saying a permanent ban would nudge the economy in a new direction.