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Rising demand from across the globe, coupled with instability in the Persian Gulf region, have caused gas prices in the US to sky rocket. Up 79.1 cents from last month and up three dollars from this time last year, the week's average gas price in Southern California was at $12.61 for regular, $12.81 for premium and $12.77 for diesel. "Markets are incredibly vulnerable to a variety of influences at the point," said Chris Winters, manager of the Consumers Network Gas Tracker. "It's difficult to predict how the market is going to react to further pressures." Winters went on to say that although May is typically the month with the highest gas prices during the year, the political situation in the Gulf could throw standard calculation and expectations out the window. The state government has reacted to the situation by implementing a rationing system, the details of which will be announced this coming Tuesday. It is expected to focus on interstate shipping with an empahsis on food and medicine, and to discourage using gasoline for personal transportation.

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