Average cost of gas steadily rising in L.A. - Middle East conflict could make it worse

Jaysha Patel Image
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Prices continue going up at the pump. Here's what could make it worse
The average price per gallon of regular gas is $5.40 in L.A County, up for the 28th consecutive day, and up by 11 cents from last week.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The average price per gallon of regular gas is $5.40 in L.A County, up for the 28th consecutive day. With the average price increasing drastically over the last week, tension in the Middle East could exacerbate the already costly prices.

How could conflict in the Middle East affect Southern California?

"A lot of Southern California's issues are not directly impacted by conflict and war. Here, it's more about local refineries," American Automobile Association (AAA) representative Gianella Ghiglino said.

Over the weekend Iran launched an attack against Israel with drones and missiles after a suspected Israeli strike killed two Iranian generals in Syria.

"However, if there is an escalation of war like we saw with the Ukraine and Russia war, that did actually impact gas prices. So while we can't say - it's too early to tell - it has absolutely happened in the past," Ghiglino said.

Iran has already seized an Israeli affiliated container ship near the Strait of Hormuz, an important oil choke point, potentially leading to escalating conflict and higher oil prices.

Higher oil prices mean higher gas prices - adding to inflation which has already proven to be worse than expected this year.

Right now there's no spike in the price of oil but that could change depending on what happens in the coming days.

AAA says refineries are having maintenance issues which are impacting gas prices.

"Currently, the average gas price nationwide is around $3.64. Locally here in California, we are looking at about $5.46. That was an 11 cent increase in California from last week," Ghiglino said.

For Southern Californians, the rise in gas prices aren't new but it still causes pain at the pump every week.

"That stinks because I just moved here. I get here and it goes up 11 cents - it's not fun, it's definitely high, and definitely in a city where you have to use your car," West Hollywood resident John Campanelli said.

AAA says there is no specific date as to when prices will come down, but they say the best alternatives are to carpool and shop for the best gas prices.