Valley Gas Prices Start to Climb

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In the coming days get ready to see a jump at the pump.

"They're starting to climb that's why I'm here," said Jan Schappell of Cathedral City, who filled up at CostCo in Palm Desert.

Drivers say they're frustrated because they feel like oil refineries and big gas companies are taking them for a ride.

"We know we're getting manipulated. They treat us like we're idiots, like we don't know what they're doing," Schappell said.

"You know they've been manipulating it for years," said Jerry Faupel of Palm Desert.

Consumer advocacy group "Consumer Watchdog" based in Santa Monica says there's evidence that's exactly what's happening, and it's about to get worse.

"We're expecting a 15 to 30 cent jump in the coming days," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. "My only advice for consumers is to fill up soon."

Court says oil refineries are working hard to keep the state running on empty with planned outages and other price surging tactics.

"It's profitable for the oil refineries to keep us on low inventories and take refineries offline," Court said. " And they aren't importing the supplies we need to keep the prices stable."

Energy officials blamed the change in price on low inventory and West Coast, adding that fuel imports have dropped to zero for the first time since March.

California's average price for a gallon is now 75 cents more than the national average.

"It sucks that's why I want to leave the state," Faupel said.

"I think it's ridiculous, I think our government should take care of that," said Claudia Cloward of Indio.

Consumer groups are pushing for that, trying to make the state require refineries to be more transparent.

"What we would like is for the refineries to file with the state and explain the reasons why those refineries are going down. Everytime they go down, our prices go up," Court said.

"Open up the books have it all out there," said Mike Filing of Palm Desert.

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