Rising gas prices in Southern California have many restaurants on the verge of raising menu items or even closing their doors.
The LA Times reported that Tre Dinh, owner of Pho 87, a Vietnamese restaurant in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, received the bill for the space gas bill.
The restaurant’s signature soup requires 16-20 hours of simmering on an oil stove, but between November and January, the bill rises from $800 to $8,000.
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Tre Dinh isn’t the only restaurant owner in California to see a big jump in his gas bill.
Some San Diego restaurant owners saw a 400% increase in January.
For example, Rudford restaurant owners Jeff and Nick Kacha received an $8,200 gas bill and told “Fox & Friends” in early February that politicians betrayed them because they don’t represent the people of San Diego.
“It’s like they’re throwing businesses under the bus … we’re bringing a lot of tax money and everything to the city of San Diego. And they’re kind of stabbing us in the back almost with all these prices and letting all these things go. Companies should do all what they want… It’s sad to see… people suffering,” Nick told Ashley Strohmier during the interview. “There are just people saying they can’t pay their bills,” he said. These are the people who need it the most, and… they don’t seem to represent any of us.
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The Kachas said they can’t keep raising food prices until no one comes, saying everyone is on a budget and hoping to get better.
San Diego Gas & Electric announced in early February that gas prices will drop 68% for the month, which has given some residents a hard time.
Also, SoCalGas reported a similar reduction of 68%, saying that a customer with a $300 bill in January would see a $135 bill in February.
For clients like Kachas and Tre Dinh, the bill can be as high as $2,500.
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The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says several factors have contributed to the increase in natural gas prices. Some of the reasons include international warming in the West Coast that has led to high demand for natural gas, reduced natural gas from Canada and the Rocky Mountains, reduced pipeline capacity to the West Coast due to maintenance in West Texas, and and lower levels of gas reserves on the west coast.
Natural gas consumption, however, on December 23, 2022, exacerbated supply and demand problems, the EIA said.
As gas prices dropped in February, SoCalGas also announced some assistance for low-income families, seniors and small restaurant owners affected by gas prices in the area.
On Monday, the energy company said it will use $10 million in shareholder funding to help customers with billing support and strengthen community resources for anyone struggling financially.
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SoCalGas CEO Scott Drury said “Unprecedented gas prices this winter, on top of rising inflation, have been a huge hardship for many Southern Californians, especially our most vulnerable, seniors, and people who are going through difficult times,” said SoCalGas CEO Scott Drury. “Thanks to the incredible work of United Way and the network of tireless, independent leaders who support our work in the community, we are able to help many of our neighbors, families and small businesses in cities and towns in southern California this. winter.”
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