Gasoline prices inched downward in California today, breaking a four-day string of all-time record highs.
AAA put the average price of unleaded regular this morning at $4.666 a gallon, down from Tuesday's record of $4.671.
National gas price tracker GasBuddy.com had the average price of a gallon of gas in California at $4.64, down a penny from Tuesday. GasBuddy said the statewide trend is for falling prices.
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said today's tiny price decrease was too slow for his comfort.
"I'm really hoping that pace will pick up. It's ridiculous," he said. "We're showing about a 1 percent drop (in gas prices) and wholesale prices have been falling at a much higher rate. Gas stations might be reluctant to drop their prices to make up for earlier losses on the flip side, but I hope it picks up as we approach the weekend. This is a joke how slow prices are falling."
Energy analysts blame the latest surge in prices on a perfect storm of supply disruptions at refineries throughout California. Those same analysts predict that at-the-pump prices will further decline as the week goes on, a byproduct of a sharp decrease in wholesale gas prices in California.
Experts said the decline of wholesale prices was helped along by the California Air Resources Board acting on Gov. Jerry Brown's Sunday directive to allow refineries to switch early to making cheaper winter-grade fuel.
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