MODESTO -- Gas prices, which recently soared by around 50 cents a gallon statewide in a weeks time, are falling at a snails pace despite a dramatic downturn in wholesale gas prices.
It appears likely that gasoline priced less than $4 a gallon is going to remain a distant memory for the remainder of 2012.
AAA put the statewide average price of unleaded regular on Thursday at $4.659 a gallon, down a tiny fraction from Wednesdays $4.666 and just a short hop from Tuesdays all-time record of $4.671.
National gas price tracker GasBuddy.com had Thursdays average price per gallon in California at $4.63, down a penny from Wednesday.
In the Northern San Joaquin Valley, gas can be had for $4.25 a gallon at the Westley Triangle Truck Stop, and $4.29 at a few other area locations, according to ModestoGasPrices.com.
Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, characterized the slow-motion drop-offs as ridiculous and a joke in the aftermath of 50-cent-plus downturns in California wholesale gas prices since Oct. 5 even accounting for a typical three- to five-day lag time between wholesale price changes and a corresponding change at gas pumps.