Gas prices are going up.
The average price for a gallon of regular rose 20 cents in Los Angeles in the past week, hitting $2.680 Monday, according to price tracking website GasBuddy.com.
Prices usually go up this time every year as refineries close for regular seasonal maintenance. Prices are still far below the $3.671 level seen this time last year.
The cost of oil has plunged since summer on concerns about weak overseas demand and a surplus of crude, especially from higher production in North America. Crude prices have increased recently, however, contributing to the rise at the pump.
So far a nationwide refinery strike has not contributed to the higher prices, GasBuddy says, but if the walkout starts to have an effect on production that could change. Typically, refineries keep operating despite walkouts.
Workers with the United Steelworkers union are on strike at 11 refineries. They began the job action last week after contract talks broke down. It is the largest refinery strike since 1980.