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Shock at the pump: Gas soars to over $4 per gallon in Southern California

February 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Gas prices are normally low this time of year. But this February, gas prices are at an all-time high.

Prices have soared over the $4 mark this holiday weekend.

You can blame it on rising oil prices. And don't expect relief in the near future. Experts predict the traditional spring spike could hit $5 per gallon by Memorial Day.

For good measure, a Shell gas station on Fairfax Avenue and Olympic Boulevard has its price at a whopping $4.93 a gallon.

Los Angeles resident J.B. Williams said he thinks the gas station is taking advantage of its prime location and drivers who just don't check the price.

"They realize that if people are running late to work or have family issues, you stop where you stop so you don't run out of gas," Williams said.

In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $4.06. That's up 33 cents from last month.

In Orange County, drivers are paying about $4.05 a gallon, also up 33 cents from last month.

The Inland Empire is at $4.03, up 32 cents.

In Ventura it's $4.06, also up 32 cents from last month.

James Cherry of Los Angeles is one driver who is happy to see a spike in gas prices. He said if prices soar, maybe it will force drivers to change their habits.

"It's a precious disappearing resource," he said. "The only way to make people stop using so much of it is to raise the price."