High state taxes, in addition to supply issues, complicated by the sanctions against Russia, are driving up gas prices on the West Coast, even as prices fall elsewhere. California has seen the steepest increases, with a rise of 59 dollar cents in the past week.
Last week, you could purchase a gallon of gas in California for about $6.18, on average. This week, gas prices in some parts of the state reached record highs, with the cost of gasoline reaching over $8 a gallon in some areas.
In Los Angeles, where a new record was set this week with a gallon costing (on average) $6.49, you’ll pay nearly double the national average, which is currently $3.87.
The rising costs have been attributed to the state’s oil refineries, whose problems are affecting supply due to their misleading attitude.
According to reports, at least six refineries in California have undergone maintenance, leading Gov. Gavin Newsom to call for state regulators to even relax the rules governing refineries in an effort to bring down soaring gas prices?
California places stricter regulations on oil refineries in an effort to curb the amount of pollutants introduced into the atmosphere, which leads to higher prices, according to oil industry representatives.
Last week, Newsom called on lawmakers to move up the sale of cheaper winter blend gas, which contains higher levels of butane.
Making the change from summer gas, which by law is designed to lessen smog-causing pollutants during hotter months, would likely save consumers $15-20 cents a gallon, said Doug Shupe, spokesman for the Southern California Automobile Club, an affiliate of AAA.
If these prices go up to an average of $7 a gallon, a $15-cent drop is not really going to mean much to drivers. In a statement, Newsom said he expected the relaxation of regulations to increase supplies by up to 10%.
On Friday, he also called for a special session of the state legislature to pass a new tax on oil company profits to punish them for price gouging. Major oil companies have seen record profits this summer while the price of global crude oil has dropped recently.
The California Air Resources Board, which regulates refineries, said that hurricane Ian, in addition to complications from a refinery fire, could also be contributing to the high prices.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Oil & Gas Blog News 2022.