SOURCE: Auto Club of Southern California

December 29, 2006 03:05 ET

Gas Prices Head Upward as 2006 Sets New Price Records, Says Auto Club

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 29, 2006 --Gas prices continued upward for a third straight week, although not as steeply as they were climbing in the week before Christmas, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch.

"2006 set new records for California gas prices both in actual and inflation-adjusted terms, with the yearly price averaging $2.81 a gallon and the all-time peak price reached in May at $3.33, according to the California Energy Commission," said Auto Club spokeswoman Carol Thorp. "The previous yearly record price was set in 1981, when motorists paid $1.35 a gallon on average for gasoline -- in 2006 dollars, that was $2.64 a gallon."

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $2.635, which is 3.8 cents higher than last week, 15 cents higher than last month, and 41 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.685, 2.6 cents above last week's price, 14 cents above last month, and 40 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.838, up three cents from last week, 13 cents above last month, and 46 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $2.645, 3.2 cents above last week, 15 cents higher than last month, and 39 cents higher than last year.

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., Dec. 29:

  Area             Regular   One-week change    Record Price
----------         -------   ---------------    ------------
Los Angeles -      $2.635    +3.8 cents         $3.402
 Long Beach                                     (5/13/2006)

Orange County      $2.581    +3.0 cents         $3.371
                                                (5/17/2006)
San Diego          $2.685    +2.6 cents         $3.438
                                                (5/15/2006)
Santa Barbara -    $2.838    +3.0  cents        $3.491
 Santa Maria -                                  (5/16/2006)
 Lompoc

Riverside -        $2.645    +3.2 cents         $3.445
 San Bernardino                                 (5/15/2006)

Bakersfield        $2.647    +1.9 cents         $3.450
                                                (5/16/2006)
Las Vegas, NV      $2.543    +1.8 cents         $3.176
                                                (5/17/2006)

Contact Information

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    Marie Montgomery/Elaine Beno
    (714) 885-2333