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Gas prices spike across California

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's still chilly in California, but gas prices certainly haven't cooled off.
 
On Friday, the Automobile Club of Southern California said the average price of gasoline in the region saw one of the largest one-month jumps since 2000. Statewide, the average price of regular gasoline was $4.22, up 12 cents from last week.
 
Gas prices have spiked between 57 and 59 cents over the past 30 days. The region's largest increase was 70 cents between May and June of 2008.
 
Auto Club officials said the surge can't be attributed to a single factor, but refineries were expected to undergo a heavy maintenance schedule, and large amounts of money have been plowed into futures speculating the price of gas and oil would go up.
 
Californians, however, are used to paying a hefty price at the pump and might be resigned to $4 and more for a gallon of gas.
 
"We've done this before," said Auto Club spokeswoman Marie Montgomery. "It's definitely not good for consumers."
 
For instance, last year Californians were paying more than $4 a gallon, but there was a slower rise in prices.
 
Currently, prices in Southern California nearly match the highest cost for a gallon in the nation, which can be found on Maui. The average price of regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area is $4.316 per gallon on Friday; the price in Wailuku is $4.399.
 
The price in Los Angeles is 11.3 cents more than last week and 57 cents higher than last month. In San Diego, the average price is $4.285, 10.2 cents above last week and 58 cents above last month.
 
In San Francisco, the price is $4.22. A week ago, it was $4.08 and 56 cents more than what motorists were paying a month ago.
 
Montgomery said she bought gas Thursday and even after a discount she paid $4.08 per gallon.
 
"And I should be happy with that?" she said, laughing. "It's frustrating."