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High gas prices plague California but Arizona lucks out

Lorena Delara takes a picture of the total she paid after filling up her tank with gasoline at a gas station Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, in San Diego. Delara paid $81.27 for a little over 15 gallons of gas. A 20-cent jump overnight in California gas prices has put the state ahead of Hawaii for the nation's most expensive gas. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

PHOENIX -- Filling up in California means while the gas tank is getting full, a driver's wallet is being drained.

A short supply of gas caused by refinery problems has led to the spike in California gas prices. Many drivers there are paying nearly $6 a gallon for gas.

"In California, they use a special blend of fuel that's very difficult to make," said Fred Rosa, retail pricing director at the Oil Price Information Service. "Only a few refineries can actually make it."

Rosa said he was surprised the prices went that high.

"We were anticipating prices to go down," Rosa said. "We are seeing prices go down in a lot of the other parts of the country. When this issue about the refineries in California came up, the wholesale prices there really skyrocketed.

"A lot of the retail prices haven't caught up. That's probably the issue there."

Whether Arizona will see $6 a gallon gas in the Valley anytime soon, Rosa said don't worry.

"You might see a 10-cent-a-gallon increase over the next couple of weeks, but I wouldn't expect anything more than that," Rosa said.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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