California's gas prices reach new record high

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in California hit a new record high on Tuesday, for the second day in a row.

The statewide average rose to $4.69 on Tuesday, Nov. 16, up from a previous record set on Monday at  $4.68 a gallon, according to figures from the AAA.

This new average surpasses the previous record of $4.67 set in Oct, 2012.

The average price of regular gasoline in California is $1.27 higher than the current national average of $3.41, according to AAA.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose seven-tenths of a cent Monday to $4.672, moving within 3.3 cents of the all-time high.

The average price rose 1.4 cents Friday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 7.9 cents more than it was one week ago, 20.8 cents more than one month ago and $1.523 higher than one year ago.

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The record high in Los Angeles County is $4.705, set Oct. 9, 2012.

The Orange County average price also rose half a cent to $4.635, 5.5 cents less than the record high of $4.69 set Oct. 8, 2012. It has increased 9 cents over the past seven days, including 1.4 cents Friday.

The Orange County average price is 20.2 cents more than one month ago and $1.521 higher than one year ago.

The week-to-week increase in Los Angeles County is higher than the previous two weeks while the Orange County weekly increase is the largest since mid-March because of two factors, according to Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager.

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Jamie Court, the President of Consumer Watchdog, said the gas price hike problem is twofold. 

"One [problem] is crude oil prices are up and that has to do a lot with OPEC and Saudi Arabia holding back crude largely because President Joe Biden is trying to retaliate rightfully against the Saudi prince because of the assassination of the Wall Street journalist so therefore crude oil prices are rising," said Court. 

Court said the other problem is Californians always pay one dollar more per gallon than the rest of the country.

"When prices go up for everybody in America, we [Californians] get an extra dollar we have to pay and you can hear dollar signs in the pockets of oil refineries when that happens," he said.

Court said the four oil refineries in California have a lot of control. 

"They've consolidated their power. They control 85 percent of the gas crude oil. They control prices at 70 percent of gas stations and they squeeze when they can squeeze. It is just maddening. It's outrageous and legislators need to address this crisis. We are a punching bag for big oil," said Court.

Court said the holidays are not likely to bring lower prices. 

"It means more pain because more people are going to be on the roads. I don't see a let up in the crude oil prices and I don't see the legislature dong anything because they're out of session until January," he said. 

Court believes this is the time for a push towards electric vehicles and said the Biden Administration needs to incentivize the vehicles. 

"That'll save our climate. It'll save our wallets and it'll save America but we need that investment so there is a win that can be translated out of all of this if the Governor and the President are thinking about it in the correct way," he said. 

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.

CNS contributed to this report.