We're paying what?! California gas prices surge above $4

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- An ABC7 News crew hopped in a van on a mission to find gas prices around Fremont under the state average of $3.87. What they found made their pockets hurt.

A gallon of regular gas at the Chevron on Mowry Avenue and Farwell Drive was $4.09 on Wednesday morning.

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"This was probably not a good time to take this long distance trip," Elizabeth McCrary said.

McCrary was at the Chevron filling up ahead of her journey to Los Angeles. Her Smart car takes premium gas, so she was stuck shelling out $4.29 a gallon.

California gas prices have jumped 53 cents in the past 30 days.

It wasn't clear why the Quik Stop on Mowry Avenue was so much cheaper, but regular was $3.59 on Wednesday.

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"Car operates fine," Jim Schoon, a Quik Stop customer, said. "We love it and like the price."

The credit and debit card system was down at the Quik Stop, which forced Sukahpal Singh next door to the 76 gas station. He paid $4.09 a gallon and may never leave home without cash again.

"I guess so," Singh said. "I gotta save money you know."

Petroleum analysts are blaming maintenance issues at four California refineries, including a Valero refinery in Benicia, for the price hikes. The refinery in Benicia shut down two weeks ago when a gas scrubber malfunctioned. It sent black smoke into the air.

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The Bay Area Air Quality Management District hit the refinery with 12 violations.

In the meantime, analysts don't expect the prices to fall by the end of the month. With that said, Preston Countryman is planning to keep hitting the road in his fuel efficient Mini Cooper Countryman.

"I'm not going to get anywhere in a 68 Camaro with a 396," Countryman said. "You know what I mean?"
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