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The basics of supply and demand, even in a market as curated as global petroleum is, are fairly easy to understand. Today's example: southern California, where some stations are beginning to run out of gas due to "refinery supply problems" at both Chevron and Mobil, reports USA Today. The result? Prices could hit $5-a-gallon soon. AAA says that the average in California today is $4.486 a gallon, well above the national average of $3.789 and making a run on the $4.61 record from June 2008.

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The national average price of gasoline has hit exactly $4 a gallon, approximately a dime below its all-time high. According to a Lundberg Survey of fueling stations released on Sunday, pump prices rose 12 cents over the past two weeks. On July 7, 2008, the national average price of gas soared to $4.114 a gallon, a record-setting high, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The national average price of gasoline has hit exactly $4 a gallon, approximately a dime below its all-time high. According to a Lundberg Survey of fueling stations released on Sunday, pump prices rose 12 cents over the past two weeks. On July 7, 2008, the national average price of gas soared to $4.114 a gallon, a record-setting high, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Last year, the reality of $4 gallons of gasoline (and, of course, economic uncertainly), caused a lot of changes in the auto industy in the U.S., from a drop in vehicle miles traveled to a decrease in big vehicle sales. Looks like that $4 level is the tipping point for any future changes in driver behavior as well, according to a new survey put out by Cars.com.

Machines are only as smart as their creators, which doesn't say much about gas pump manufacturers in the mid-1990s. A report from Washington reveals that at least 12 gas stations in the state are using pumps not 13 years old that are unable to display and calculate a price of gas higher than $3.99 9/10 per gallon. These pumps were produced before everything went digital and you could simply slide your AmEx into the little slot to pay for your premium petrol. They use a mechanical computer with g