$4 gas is back: 20-cent jump sends California gas prices to highest in nation

California’s pump jump was the sharpest in the nation this past week with gas prices that topped the list for America’s most expensive fill-up.

Gas prices climbed as much as 21 cents to an average of $4.02 a gallon — the state’s highest since July 2014, and a nearly 60-cent jump from a month ago, according to the folks at AAA.

The national per-gallon average is $2.832 — a 10-cent increase from the previous week.

Sacramento motorists can still find deals at the pumps, however, says fuel watcher GasBuddy, with warehouse stores Sam’s Club and Costco alongside gas-and-gos ARCO and Quik Stop leading the list of least expensive places to fuel up.

Sam’s Club at 8250 Power Inn Road was tied for Sacramento’s cheapest fill-up Tuesday evening with Costco at 7981 East Stockton Boulevard at a price of $3.55 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.

The next best rates were $3.59 at Quik Stop at 8500 Florin Road or over at ARCO at 9670 Kiefer Boulevard, according to GasBuddy.

Experts at AAA pin the blame on “planned and unplanned maintenance” at California’s refineries, but that’s little comfort for motorists coping with the sudden sticker shock ahead of the Easter holiday weekend.

“We are seeing very expensive gas prices for this time of year across the country,” said AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano, in a statement. “Motorists are seeing prices increase as gasoline stocks decreased substantially by 7.7 million barrels amid summer-like demand readings.”

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