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Rise in California gas price slows, remains record

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 9:01 am •  Published: October 9, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The rise in California gasoline prices has slowed after recent jarring increases, but nonetheless the cost of a gallon inched up to another record high, even as officials hope their emergency action will help ease the sticker shock.

The average price for regular gas in the state on Tuesday was a bit over $4.67 a gallon, according to the AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The price was a state record and the highest in the nation.

The cost increased only a fraction of a cent overnight, however — compared to nearly 50 cents in the past week.

The highest average price in the state, at $4.75, is in Central California, in the San Luis Obispo area.

San Diego average prices are at $4.72 a gallon, and the Los Angeles area about $4.71.

Analysts said the spike has been driven by refinery disruptions and corrosion issues in an important pipeline.

Also contributing to the high prices, California law, in an effort to reduce air pollution, requires that gas stations during warmer months use a special blend of fuel that is not widely available.

State leaders — and drivers — hope to see gasoline prices drop soon because Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered the California Air Resources Board to allow so-called "winter-blend" gasoline to be sold in California earlier than usual to increase supply.

California usually converts to the gas on Oct. 31. The fuel evaporates in heat more quickly than summer-blends, so sends more pollutants into the environment, especially in warm weather.

Gil Duran, a spokesman for Brown, said the governor looked at all the options available, particularly scientists' prediction that such a change would not have a significant effect on the environment, and "when he learned this could increase the supply by 8 to 10 percent, it just made sense."

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