Jump in California gas prices leads stations to close doors, charge record prices
Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, said he's heard of a few California station owners shutting their pumps rather than charging the $4.90 a gallon or more necessary to break even.
"Wholesale price increases lead to retail price increases," Kloza said. "But there is some restraint among companies who do not want to exercise their current pricing power and irritate their customers."
Some analysts think prices nationally will begin to decline soon but say California could see a longer spike given its unique fuel requirements.
"Nationally, I believe most prices will wobble to and fro for the next week or so, with an eventual slow but steady attrition in retail gas prices, particularly in the Midwest and Southeast," Kloza said. "California is a wild card."
Contributing to this report were AP Energy Writers Jonathan Fahey in New York and Sandy Shore in Denver, and AP writer Juliet Williams in Sacramento.
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