Summer Days: High Gas Prices Here to Stay

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For those looking to get one last vacation in this summer, some extra cash for gas will be needed.

The nationwide average price of gas is now $3.65 a gallon, up 27 cents from July, according to AAA.

"Instead of the trip, we've got to save up just for the gas," one North Carolina driver said.

Analysts warned recently that during the next few days, drivers on the West Coast could see gas prices go up 25 cents or more.

"How do you expect people to manage?" asked Alma Edwards, another disgruntled driver.

A string of refinery breakdowns across the country have sent fuel traders into a panic and prices soaring.

And a major fire at the Chevron refinery, one of the country's largest oil refineries, is being blamed for a massive shortage.

Chevron produces 16 percent of the gas the western U.S. uses every day. Chevron officials aren't sure when the refinery will be back up and running.

"To fill up my truck, it takes me $110 every time," San Fernando resident Jose Gaeta said.

The number of U.S. refineries has also dropped from 158 to 124 during the last decade.

Those remaining have upped their production, pumping out 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, meaning one downed refinery can have a drastic impact on fuel supply.

"A lot of the reason for the increase is a lot of refining issues that have crept up all at once, as well as some pipeline problems that have surfaced in the last few days," said GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan.

"You have to give up on something because you have to go to work," DeHaan added. "You have to give up something because you've got to buy it."

In addition, Tropical Storm Ernesto has halted some production. Whatever the cause, experts say the high prices are here to stay at least through Labor Day, if not longer.

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.