SLO County gas prices were dropping — now they are the second highest in the nation

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After a Thanksgiving lull, the average price of gas in San Luis Obispo County has jumped almost 11 cents in the past week, making the region the second-most expensive for gas in the country.

According to GasBuddy.com, which tracks regional gas prices, the average cost of a gallon of regular was just under $4.80 in SLO County on Thursday.

The only place with more expensive gas in the country? San Francisco, where a gallon of gas will cost you a whopping $4.86 on average.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, gas prices across the country actually began dipping significantly ahead of news that President Joe Biden planned to release a record 50 million barrels of oil from America’s strategic reserve starting in mid-December.

In San Luis Obispo County, the price dropped to $4.69 per gallon on Nov. 26, according to GasBuddy. That was the lowest gas had been since the start of the month, and significantly lower than the pre-Thanksgiving peak of $4.82 per gallon.

In the following week, however, prices once again shot up across the country.

As of Thursday, prices in San Luis Obispo County ranged from $4.35 for a regular gallon of gas at Costco in San Luis Obispo to $5.39 at Chevron and Shell in Cambria.

On average, SLO County residents are paying almost $1.50 more per gallon than this time in 2020.

Prices could potentially dip in the coming weeks however, as worries about the new Omicron COVID-19 variant could spur new travel restrictions and limit oil demand.

“So far, Americans can expect the new variant to push gas prices even lower,” GasBuddy’s head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan said in a news release Nov. 29. “Beyond the next few weeks, it remains nearly impossible to predict where oil and gas prices will head, though turbulence is guaranteed.”

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