Drivers are getting quite a shock when they top off their gas tank. Gas prices across the state continue to go up. In Bakersfield, the price at the pump shot up 13 cents overnight, the biggest one day increase this year.
According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas Friday was $4.42, but at many places around town the price is much higher and is only expected to go up.
"I think they're terrible," said Bakersfield resident Saundra Blankenship about the gas prices. "I think it's awful that people have to pay this amount to drive their car and have to go to work and all the things they have to do."
The price difference from a week ago is even more dramatic. It's up 29 cents from last week's average price of $4.14 per gallon, and it's up 58 cents from last year's price at this time, $3.84 a gallon.
"They can mostly be attributed to the record low inventory, and we've had some refinery incidents in the state of California is the last few weeks," said Chere Smith, Branch Manager for Bakersfield AAA.
Those incidents include a fire at a northern California refinery, the shutdown of a Kern County pipeline, and a refinery that lost power.
"The supply is so low and the demand is so high, we really had this uptick in prices," said Smith.
This dramatic spike is something the local AAA has never seen.
"Generally, it goes up a couple of cents every day over a couple of weeks, long periods but not this sharp uptick in prices. I have not seen that," said Smith.
The line at Costco on Rosedale Highway was ten cars deep all day, as they boasted the cheapest price in Bakersfield at $4.30 a gallon. But, neither the line nor the price seemed to bother John Castner.
"I don't think much about it because there's nothing I can do about it," said Castner who was visiting Bakersfield from Tehachapi.
Bonnie Tomlinson of Bakersfield feels the same way, even though she was filling up at $4.65 a gallon.
"There's a lot of other things to worry about other than a couple of dollars in the gas tank," said Tomlinson.
AAA said Bakersfield is on track in the next day or two to break the record gas price of $4.59 a gallon. How much higher the price will go beyond that is up to the markets.
"A lot depends on whether the perceived supply issues are addressed in the state," said Smith.
For now, Californians will have to grin and pump it.
"It's a shame. I hope it changes soon," said Blankenship.