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Nearly All Southern California at or Below Last Year's Gas Price Levels

    LOS ANGELES--Aug. 17, 2001--For the first time since gasoline prices began to spike in mid-February, the average price of unleaded regular self-serve is lower than at this same time in 2000 for most of Southern California, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch.
    This marks the 12th straight week that the average price of gasoline has declined since hitting all-time highs in May.
    The current price in the Los Angeles/Long Beach reporting area is $1.579 per gallon, 4/10 of a cent lower than the price at this time last year. The price in San Diego is 2/10 of a cent higher than last year's level. Central Coast motorists are enjoying their second consecutive week buying gas at prices lower than last year. The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at popular destinations for motoring trips.
    "The twin factors of higher gasoline supplies and lower demand throughout Southern California continues to push the price of gas lower," said Auto Club spokesman Paul Gonzales.
    "Gasoline refiners have been trying to stabilize fuel prices by limiting the supply coming on the market. In fact, the wholesale price of gasoline has risen by about 10 cents over the past week. But as the summer driving season is nearing an end, it's likely that demand for gasoline will go even lower."

Average prices as of 12:01 a.m. Aug. 17.

Area                             Regular Change from  Record Price
                                          last week

Los Angeles-Long Beach           $1.579  -6.3 cents   $2.036 (set 5/25)

San Diego                        $1.691  -5.6 cents   $2.025 (5/29)

Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc $1.704  -4.3 cents   $2.069 (5/16)

Las Vegas                        $1.389  -3.4 cents   $1.885 (3/27/00)

Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.              $1.333  -2.8 cents   $1.720 (5/30)