Israel Perez knows a thing or two about rising gasoline prices. As a driver for Unity Courier, the 58-year-old West Covina resident travels as much as 130 miles a day to make his deliveries. And with gas prices soaring at the pump in recent days, he’s feeling the pain. ‘Before the prices started going up again I was spending about $20 a day on gas,’ he said. ‘But now it’s about $30 a day.’ Perez isn’t the only consumer who’s feeling the financial pinch of higher fuel prices. Gas prices had declined from historic, $3-per-gallon highs in October for nearly 13 weeks leading up to Jan. 1, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. Before the New Year, motorists could find regular gas for a little above $2 per gallon at several San Gabriel Valley stations. But since then, prices have risen dramatically. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Most of the increase California motorists saw between Jan. 2 and Jan.9 was directly related to the cost of a barrel of oil, said Rob Schlichting, a spokesman for the California Energy Commission. Between Dec. 27 and Jan. 10, that price rose to $60.62 from $56.01 an increase of $4.61 per barrel, he said. Generally, about 42 gallons of gas can be produced from one barrel which led to about an 11 cent increase per gallon through Jan. 9, he said. But the reasons for the increase in oil are less clear. Some of it may simply be attributed to oil trading, which has increased the price for a barrel of oil, Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring said. But world events also can influence oil prices, he said. Comments made about Iran’s government regarding its nuclear programs and the country’s intentions is another factor that may have fueled the increase, Spring said. But whatever the reasons, motorists are paying significantly more at the pump these days. On Thursday, the Chevron station at Fair Oaks Avenue and Monterey Road in South Pasadena posted regular at $2.43 a gallon. ‘It’s gone up 14 cents over the last week,’ said Robert Vrger, a clerk at the station. And when prices go up? ‘Business drops off,’ Vrger said. ‘We’re selling 2,000 gallons less a week.’ On Thursday, the lowest local prices could be found at an Arco station and a Valero station in Whittier, both of which were selling regular gasoline for $2.25 per gallon. Meanwhile, gas at the self-serve Mobil station on the corner of Allen Avenue and Villa Street in Pasadena was selling for $2.55 for unleaded regular, $2.65 for special and $2.75 for premium on Thursday. Manager Willie Jordancq has worked at the station 14 years and said these are some of the highest prices he can recall. ‘When I started here,’ he said, ‘gas was 75 cents a gallon.’ The station’s last price hike was six cents, he said, adding that he expects prices will continue to rise, and that Mobil officials don’t explain the hikes. ‘They just do it,’ he said. But Jordan said he does hear from customers. ‘ How come?’ That’s the main question,’ he said. ‘The only thing I’ve heard, from news reports, is that the demand for gas is the reason it’s going back up. That doesn’t explain a lot, but that’s what I hear.’ Staff Writers Jim Steinberg and Emanuel Parker contributed to this story. firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2701160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!