Craig Fiegener & James Wulff
SoCal drivers are scrambling to find cheap fuel after a weekend jump in gas prices. But motorists at a Redlands gas station say their cheaper fuel comes with a hidden price -- a $9 car wash. Craig Fiegener reports from Redlands for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 14, 2012.
With Memorial Day just a couple of weeks away, the west coast is feeling the effect of a recent spike in gasoline prices, even though the national average cost of fuel continues to drop.
The price for regular gasoline in California jumped nearly 16 cents to $4.345 since last week, while the national average is 5 cents lower at $3.727 per gallon, about 70 cents lower than the Golden State.
Oil companies are blaming the recent spike in prices on several different reasons, including a 20-year shortage of fuel for the month of May.
Several refinery shutdowns up and down the coast have led to fuel shortages because California mandates a cleaner-burning blend of gasoline, and prices are expected to continue rising, according to NBC Bay Area.
When asked about the spike in prices, some fans on the NBC Los Angeles Facebook page were not thrilled.
“There is no such thing as a shortage. It's called higher prices to make more profit from gas,” wrote Val Simon.
“We need to drill for our own... Make more U.S. jobs!!!,” commented Diane Greiner.
Mary Donahue thinks the spike is strategic on the part of the oil companies.
“Just because the Memorial weekend is coming up. We don't have a shortage,” Donahue wrote. “The oil companies are just greedy. And we as consumers reap the cost.”