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Why gas prices are so high [Google+ Hangout]

Some Southern California gas stations are charging more than $5 a gallon for gasoline.

Gas prices have gone up so high and so quickly, some customers are snapping pictures at the pump or driving off in hopes that gas will cost less next week.

LIVE VIDEO DISCUSSION: Join us at 3 p.m. today

To examine why gas prices are suddenly so high, join us for a Google+ Hangout at 3 p.m. PDT with Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at the GasBuddy.com website, and Times energy editor Nancy Rivera Brooks. The live chat will be moderated by Times consumer columnist David Lazarus.

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We invite you to join in on the conversation by posting comments below.

It’s not just your imagination. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in California jumped a whopping 17.1 cents overnight. And it’s getting worse. The state’s motorists are likely to see a new record high this weekend.

Friday’s average price for a gallon of unleaded regular in California is $4.486 a gallon, which is by far the highest in the nation. Just the day before, it was $4.315 a gallon.

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