Motorists in California have begun paying a new statewide record price average of $2.036 for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. The old state record of $2.034 was set on May 15, 2001. In the past year, the price of regular unleaded has increased 67.8 cents. San Diego motorists are paying an average of $2.039, which is a new record. The old record for San Diego was $2.025, set on May 29, 2001. In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, the price of regular self serve is $2.006, which is only three cents below the all-time record of $2.036. Orange County has an average price of $2.022, only 1.8 cents shy of its all-time high price of $2.040. San Francisco drivers have a new record price of $2.188. Motorists in Sacramento are paying a new record price of $2.044. "California gasoline prices have been rising steadily for the past nine and a half weeks and increases are likely to continue," said Carol Thorp, Auto Club spokesperson. "The slow march to a possible war with Iraq has been the major factor in pushing up prices. Gas price reductions may be unlikely until the Iraq situation is resolved."