As California gas prices hit new records Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown pushed an emergency production switch that could provide some relief for the bruising drivers are taking at the pump.

Though the pace of increases slowed from the double digit hikes seen in the past few days, drivers in the Bay Area still saw a two to five-cent increase overnight for regular gas, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Prices in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Santa Cruz all posted new records.

Brown said he's ordered the California Air Resources Board to take emergency action that's intended to boost production by 8-10 percent. The increase in supply is intended to fatten supplies and tamp down on prices.

The change would allow refineries to switch from making summer to winter-blend gas about four weeks earlier than the usual Oct. 31 change over. Though the summer blend is better for air quality, Brown said the negative impacts would be negligible.

Gas prices have spiraled upward as a confluence of reduced production, a power outage and other factors have cut supply. The resulting shortage has pushed prices to nearly $1 above the national average of $3.81 for a gallon of regular.

Drivers filling up Sunday with regular in San Francisco were paying $4.73; in San Jose $4.65; in Oakland $4.67 and Santa Cruz $4.61, according to AAA.

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.



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