The Great Refinery Shutdown Marks the Beginning of Spring in Southern California

Charlie Neuman/U-T San Diego/ZUMA

The wildflowers are blooming and the swallows are returning to Capistrano, but spring isn’t truly here in Southern California until our refineries all mysteriously shut down at the same time:

The price of gas in Southern California has climbed rapidly over the last few weeks as oil refineries across the state experience maintenance problems. The average pump price for regular gas in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area stood at $3.946 on Wednesday, up about 22 cents from a week ago and 70 cents, or 17%, from a month ago, according to the American Automobile Assn.

It’s good to see that some traditions are still observed.

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