Gas Prices Expected To Jump 30 Cent Throughout California In March

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The hike starts this weekend in Southern California, but the effects will spread to Northern California soon.
Caroline Martin typically spent 75 bucks to fill up her SUV.  "That's a big fortune especially if you're on a budget," said Martin.
Consumer Watchdog said we're in for a big change.
"We're warning all California drivers to fuel up as soon as possible," said Consumer Watchdog president Jaime Court.
Drivers in Southern California could face sticker shock when they fuel up this weekend, and in late March, Northern California will feel the added pain at the pump.
Court explained part of the increased costs and said major refiners are taking advantage of the situation.
"The change to summer blend of fuel is what the oil refiners are waiting for to jack those prices back up," said Court.  "They are charging price of fuel far in excess of what it costs to make summer fuel."
Usually, when refineries switch from winter to summer blend, the cost gasoline goes up. But just a few pennies more per gallon, at most a dime said consumer watchdog.
The group said a 30 cent or more hike was being driven by refiners that want to make more money.
The state's biggest oil refiners raised wholesale prices by 37 cents a gallon. Most of that cost will be passed along to drivers.
"They are going to go up like a rocket. And they're not going to come down like a feather. [Gas prices] will stay high for a while," said Court.
Court said deals could still be had at Costco and unbranded independent stations for the next few days. 

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