For weeks now, gas prices in the East Bay have held fairly steady at around $5.99 per gallon at many gas stations. Stations were likely trying to keep their prices under $6 per gallon for Regular fuel, perhaps cutting into their own profits a bit to do so. The psychological impact of crossing the $6 per gallon threshold–as well as competition from nearby stations that were also holding prices lower–likely contributed to keeping the cost of a gallon below the $6 mark.
Now, that point of resistance has fallen. Prices at many stations around the East Bay now exceed $6 per gallon, with prices spiking to those levels over the weekend.
A gallon of Regular fuel at a gas station in Lafayette, California over the weekend, for example, sold for $6.09 per gallon. Those prices have been a reality in the city for several weeks at least, but they’re now trickling out to the East Bay as well.
The latest spike is likely a consequence of the ongoing issues which have pushed prices higher–more demand as people return to commuting, limited supply due to the pandemic, and the ongoing impact of the War in Ukraine. Europe’s decision to phase out Russian oil imports may be playing a role in the most recent spike.
Since those structural issues are likely to remain for a while, it’s unlikely prices will dip much lower in the coming months, barring a major economic slowdown. Now that East Bay prices are on the upswing again, we’ll see how high they go over the coming weeks.