AAA: California Gas Prices at $3.91, Up $0.28 in One Month

March 14, 2014 9:00 am · 23 comments


A surge in gas consumption, as California motorists hit the road early this year, has caused state fuel prices to rise significantly. Prices are following their typical yearly trend by moving up during the spring, peaking during the summer and decreasing through the fall. Today’s prices are $0.28 higher than a month ago, according to the AAA Northern California monthly gas survey.

Northern California’s average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.84, that’s $0.26 more than last month’s AAA report on February 11, 2014. For perspective, gas prices today are $0.26 cheaper than California’s average price on this date last year.

“While retail gas prices are climbing, oil analysts predict higher prices over the next month due to seasonal refinery maintenance and the required switchover to produce summer-blend gasoline,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “These factors coupled with unexpected market-moving events, such as unplanned domestic refinery maintenance or further escalation of geopolitical tensions with Russia, could cause prices to shoot up even higher.”

Today’s national average price at the pump is $3.49 per gallon—the highest price in nearly six months. This price is $0.03 higher than one week ago and $0.22 more than one month ago, however national prices are still $0.21 per gallon less than the same date last year. The average continues to climb steadily and has increased for 31 straight days, jumping almost a quarter during this span.

Rapidly escalating tensions in Ukraine pressured West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to a more than six-month high last Monday.  However, crude oil prices dropped during the week as the situation stabilized, resulting in a more than $3.00 per barrel drop by midweek. Market watchers will continue to monitor the Russian-Ukrainian conflict closely. The associated geopolitical tensions are likely to keep oil prices from falling too far.

Crude prices declined again today following bearish economic news from China over the weekend rather than the easing tensions with Russia. China has the second largest economy in the world so a weaker than expected Chinese economic report means a lower consumption of crude oil. This trend puts downward pressure on global crude prices. At the close of today’s formal trading on the NYMEX, WTI crude settled down $1.46 at $101.12 per barrel.

The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Ukiah where regular unleaded gasoline is $3.68 per gallon. Of all the metro areas tracked by AAA in Northern California,  Eureka has the highest price at $3.98 per gallon of unleaded regular.

AAA Monthly Gas Price Averages: March 2014

City/State/Region Price Monthly Change City/State/Region Price Monthly Change
NATIONAL 3.49 +.18 SAN MATEO 3.94 +.26
CALIFORNIA 3.91 +.26 SAN RAFAEL 3.95 +.32
N. CALIFORNIA 3.84 +.26 SANTA CRUZ 3.78 +.22
BAY AREA 3.87 +.27 SANTA ROSA 3.84 +.26
CHICO 3.76 +.27 S. LAKE TAHOE 3.84 +.27
CONCORD 3.86 +.27 STOCKTON 3.78 +.29
EUREKA 3.98 +.21 TRACY 3.79 +.31
FREMONT 3.87 +.29 UKIAH 3.68 +.17
FRESNO 3.86 +.26 VALLEJO 3.83 +.26
MARYSVILLE 3.69 +.28 YREKA 3.89 +.25
MODESTO 3.76 +.28 Elsewhere…    
MONTEREY 3.82 +.26 LAS VEGAS 3.42 +.15
OAKLAND 3.87 +.25 LOS ANGELES 3.98 +.26
PLEASANTON 3.91 +.25 NEW YORK CITY 3.82 +.14
REDDING 3.79 +.26 WASHINGTON, DC 3.53 +.02
SACRAMENTO 3.76 +.32      
SALINAS 3.86 +.26      
SAN FRANCISCO 3.96 +.25      
SAN JOSE 3.90 +.27      


To get the best mileage possible, AAA recommends keeping tires at the proper pressure suggested by the vehicle manufacturer, performing routine maintenance and making sure fluids are clean and belts and hoses are in good repair. The way you drive can also impact fuel economy. Smooth driving to avoid sudden stops and starts, combining trips and lightening your load also helps conserve gasoline.

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 100,000 self-serve stations surveyed every day, nationwide. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express.

Norvis March 14, 2014 at 9:10 AM


cf March 14, 2014 at 9:12 AM

So glad we drive a hybrid.

JoRo March 14, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Such BS! If California keeps out all out-of-state produced gasoline, then California will continue to gauge the public. California is trying to do the same of food products i.e. cage free eggs. “If you give a mouse a cookie.”

Killjoy March 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM

And THAT ladies and gentlemen, is why I just bought a gas sipper. No, no hybrid for me.

Cowellian March 14, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Would this be a good time to discuss shutting down all those nasty refineries in Contra Costa County?

BagsFlyFree March 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Gas will always go up.. All this bob n weaving is a headfake to the long term trend… UP! To counter this baked in profit for mega-billion companies, buy electric cars, add solar to roofs, support/invest in companies installing plug in stations…. These are the steps all of us can do today to kickstart change.

BFF Out!

Keith March 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM

That’s why I drive to Nevada when I need gas. It’s way cheaper there.

Dorothy March 14, 2014 at 11:42 AM

I have, for several years now, believed that the gas & oil companies will not be happy until the average gas price is $5 a gallon nationwide. (And higher for California & Hawaii.)

Notice when the cost of crud goes up the prices at the pump go up in tandem. But when the cost of crud goes down it takes forever to bring the cost at the pump down a small amount? And then only if the cost of crud stayed level for a while.

But of course they, gas & oil companies, say that is supply and demand or trouble at the refineries or the change over from summer to winter and back again. Some or all of that may be true to a degree but not to the degree they raise the cost at the pump.

@ BFF March 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Up your nose with a rubber hose.

Drill more. Open Keystone pipeline. More supply = lower prices = more college fund and retirement money = more freedom and less slavery for us slackers in the middle class.

Obama and left wing environmentalist created this problem. Pure and simple.

F250 Super Duty Lariat Diesel 4×4 – OUT !

KJ March 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM

@BFF (#9) — Drill more? Obama has drilled more! And, by the way, you do know that much of the oil they’re already pumping is going to China, don’t you? It’s not sticking around in the US for you to put in your gas tank. More drilling only means more air and water pollution in our communities, and more money (speech) to Big Oil, Wall Street speculators, and Chinese oligarchs; that’s not my definition of “more freedom and less slavery.”

ClayDen March 14, 2014 at 12:51 PM

To quote the bumper sticker that was on my car for several years: Stop whining and drill! We have enough oil, it’s just that the envro-whackos don’t want us to get it and refine it. Also, eliminate the CAFE standards; let the market decide. That said, I’m a fan of small cars. My first car was an original Mini, 848cc, 37.5 HP, 1,230 pounds. I don’t want to drive anything bigger than I need. I currently drive a minivan and two small sedans with 1.5 and 2.3 liter engines. I also enjoy good performance, and you can have it in a small car that gets good mileage. If more people thought this way (that is to say, rationally), there would be even more fuel efficient cars on the road and we really wouldn’t need the CAFE standards. There would also be many more minivans and a lot fewer SUVs on the road.

Rolling coal March 14, 2014 at 1:00 PM

I will continue to fill the fresh air vents of the pricks that tailgate me with my TDI with oversized nozzles. At 45mpg who needs a hybrid.

Nymous March 14, 2014 at 1:02 PM

It’s Obama’s fault…but only when gas prices go up.

The Southern Cross March 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM


The price increase is due to California requiring its “boutique” summer formulation of gasoline which is not used anywhere else in the country.


Michelle March 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

We actually need to open up more drill sites than relying on other countries, this is where the problem is.

Find Waldo March 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

People should be able to drive what they want no matter what fuel prices rise to. Small cars are great until you get hit, then all of a sudden they aren’t so great.

anon March 14, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Yea, I remember when it was $0.27 a gal – someone pumped it for you, washed your windows ,checked your oil, and gave you blue chip stamps. We need the good old GOP to bring back these prices. Drill, frack and destroy the environment. What ever it takes.

MrDuckyWucky March 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM

thats a funny picture.

Tree Farm March 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM

It’s a shame more people aren’t in the know as to what happens and how it affects our gas prices. Anyone heard of cap and trade? No, this one isn’t Obama’s fault. This one is on Ahhhhnold. Our gas prices in California will go up .12-.40 a gallon, on January first. The main reason our gas prices are so high is because of taxes (althought legitimate refinery work has a lot to do with it too). Cap and trade is already bringing in $1.5 BILLION a year to the state’s coffers, imagine how much they will make when gas taxes go through the roof in 9 short months!!!! We will all be eating dog food for dinner soon enough….

Vandy March 14, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Ride a bike, buy an electric car, invest in solar energy, stay at home, buy locally grown food, fight the petroleum monsters at all costs to save our environment and protect the planet for future generations. Can’t help but burn some gas, but we can do what we can to get off the nasty stuff.

BornBitter March 15, 2014 at 5:36 AM

I love that, “stay at home,” is one of you solutions. What cute little ideas you have.

@ KJ & Southern Cross March 14, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Obama’s policies haven’t done a damn thing to increase oil production. Who are you kidding? FACT He stopped Keystone FACT He reduced oil production permits. Policies in place before his time are the only reason for the increases in production.

He wants to control the energy market with the Cap and Trade scheme. Jan 17, 2008- Interview with SF Chronicle, “So if somebody wants to build a coal powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all of that greenhouse gas that is being emitted.” That scheme also will control oil production and anything else he wants to control that can be linked to greenhouse gas. Even cow farts.

He’s a Marxist and you’re getting tooled.

Now he’ll control whether or not you get healthcare (live or die). Say the word and I’ll post the video of him admitting he wants Single Payer (communism) healthcare, but as he admits, it can’t be done all at once. (because we don’t have a taste for communism just yet – we need to be coerced). He can’t wait for the Not So Affordable Health Care Act to crash so he can rush in to save us from the “crisis” that is coming with it’s failure, and jump straight to Single Payer (communism).

Don’t even get me started on Common Core.

Control energy, healthcare, education, what’s left? Oh yes. Guns. Need I point out his plan for guns and your natural RIGHT (not privilege) to defend yourself ?

That’s the last piece, but for now, he’s getting his clock cleaned. Look to Connecticut. 350,000 people refused to comply with their new Un-Constitutional law and are now felons. Yes that’s right. FELONS.

Wake up or we’ll all end up slaves in the name of the “environment.”

Molon Labe

Ted K., SuperMax March 14, 2014 at 7:08 PM

@21…you have clearly been brainwashed by the left.

Do you know how to invest in solar and “green energy”?

Apparently Obama does.. SOLYNDRA went bankrupt.. that was over $500 million of tax money up in smoke.

A123 was given a $249 million federal grant.. it went bankrupt and was sold for pennies on the dollar to a Chinese firm. Meaning, tax payers paid to build a company for the Chinese.

“NASTY STUFF” ? Really? Do you know where the materials to make solar panels and batteries come from? MINING!.. that means scraping, digging, and drill the earth for resources and processing the material in an industrial process.

You can feel all good you want in the end but realize that solar power and electric cars rely on mining, steel (iron ore), silica, aluminum, oil, gasoline, chemicals, natural gas furnaces, and coal-fired steam turbines to produce and deliver the goods to the market.

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