Gas prices near $5 a gallon in Diamond Bar

Southland gas prices have risen dramatically in recent days as Easter weekend approaches, and one industry expert figures they’ll remain above $4 a gallon until September. At the Mobil station on the corner of Diamond Bar Boulevard and Golden Springs Drive in Diamond Bar, a gallon of regular unleaded was selling for $4.79 on Tuesday.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Los Angeles County hit $4.30 Tuesday, up 17 cents from a week ago and up 26 cents from a month ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The Inland Empire saw a similar gain. Monday’s average price was $4.24 a gallon, up 16 cents for the week and up 24 cents from a month ago. California’s average price for regular was $4.18 a gallon Tuesday, topped only by Hawaii’s average price of $4.31 a gallon.

“I think it will level off now, but prices won’t fall below $4 a gallon until September,” said Bob van der Valk, senior editor for the Bakken Oil Business Journal. “It’s because of the lack of supply … there’s just no backup supply.”

Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California, linked the price hikes to several factors.

“Most of our refineries should be through with the turnaround maintenance that’s involved when they convert from winter-grade to summer-grade gas,” he said. “But two refineries — the Chevron refinery in El Segundo and the Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance — will still be down for a couple more weeks.”

Read more in Kevin Smith’s story GAS

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