CA gas prices rose 6.8 cents/gal in past week to $3.62/gal

Average retail gasoline prices in California have risen 6.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.62/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 2.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.25/g, according to gasoline price website CaliforniaGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in California during the past week, prices yesterday were 32.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 1.7 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 4.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 20.9 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago, the website said in a news release.

"Average gasoline prices are moving up as we enter the New Year, a trend that has held since 2008," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "The biggest problem with that trend holding true this year is that we're starting 2012 about 20-cents per gallon higher than 2011, breaking yet another high price record and setting up an ugly year for motorists," DeHaan said.

GasBuddy analysts will also be releasing their 2012 projections in the next two weeks to the media and various organizations, and early indications show this year may see the highest ever recorded prices at the pump, with real potentials for some areas to see close to $5/gal gasoline if conflict arises in Iran over several key issues.