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Valley gas prices jump to near $4 per gallon as travel picks up

The average price of a gallon of gas in the San Joaquin Valley is nearing $4, new figures from AAA show.

The price shock arrives across the State of California, with densely populated areas including Los Angeles and San Diego averaging at or above $4 per gallon, as residents return to normal life amid declining coronavirus case rates and increased vaccinations.

“It’s obviously a pinch-point that we were hoping we wouldn’t see, but it’s a sign that the economy is mending,” said Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analysis chief for gas tracking service GasBuddy said.

“Americans are getting out and about, they are driving more often than they have in at least a year.”

Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California said “the continued recovery of fuel demand in Southern California and anticipation that demand will only grow once more pandemic-related restrictions are lifted.”

Along with demand increases, oil market prices remain high.

Across the Valley floor, Sunday’s gas prices averaged $1.03 higher than the same time in 2020, AAA’s data service reported.

The highest disparity between 2021 and 2020? It’s occurring in the Tulare County gas market, where the regular gallon of gas price is now $1.303 higher than 2020.

Here’s the average price of fuel in your neck of the woods:

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.