The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Riverside County increased one-tenth of a cent Wednesday to $3.184, its highest amount since March 21.

The average price is 1.4 cents more than one week ago and 7.1 cents more than one month ago, but 31 cents less than one year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

It has increased 12 times in the past 15 days.

“The pandemic and state regulations have fundamentally changed the landscape of the gasoline market in 2020, according to Oil Price Information Service and other oil industry analysts,” said Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager.

“The pandemic stay-at-home orders drove down demand. But announcements regarding the future of gasoline-powered vehicles in the state and anticipation of more stringent environmental regulations on refineries have caused one refinery to close indefinitely and others to announce they will close in the future or transition to producing low-carbon fuels,” Spring added. “That means an even tighter gasoline market with more potential for price spikes from refinery disruptions.”

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