Los Angeles motorists bemoaned surging prices at one local gas station that charged more than $8 per gallon of regular this week – a sign of the brutal sticker shock that Californians and others around the country currently face while filling up their tanks.
A Chevron station in downtown Los Angeles was charging $8.05 this week – a price that was well above California’s nation-leading statewide average. While prices have since dropped back below $8, some drivers reportedly expressed shock at the cost.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” local resident Marvis Joy told the Los Angeles Times. Joy added that people in his hometown of St. Louis, Mo., “get upset” when prices jump above $4 per gallon.
Another driver who filled up at the station, Antonio Taylor, said he wanted to buy an electric Tesla to avoid the sky-high gas prices.
“These prices aren’t letting up anytime soon, honestly, so I’m hoping I won’t have to be doing this much longer,” Taylor told the outlet.
The Chevron station has faced criticism over its $8 price point. Employees at the station declined the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment on the prices.
Earlier this week, a spokesperson for Chevron told the Post that many factors affect gas prices, “including some unique ones specific to California.”
“This station, along with the majority of our branded stations in California, are owned by independent businesspeople who make their own decisions about the prices to charge at their stations,” spokesperson Tyler Kruzich said in a statement.
While the $8 per gallon cost may be an outlier, California’s prices have significantly outpaced a national average that has routinely shattered record highs in recent days.
California’s statewide average was $6.246 as of Friday afternoon, according to AAA data. That was far higher than the national average of $4.761, which was an all-time high.
Prices in California are so high that they have outpaced the federal hourly minimum wage in some locations.
Prices have also surged in New York, where the statewide average has hit $4.817 – with prices climbing above $5 in New York City and some other metro areas.
Earlier this week, the head of the International Energy Agency warned that fuel shortages this summer could rival the shocks experienced during the 1970s gas crisis.