California Gas Prices Catapult to Record Highs
The Golden State is once again experiencing high gas prices. Despite a months-long reprieve, California gas prices skyrocketed 10 to 15 cents on several days in September and nearly doubled the national average.
According to AAA, the average gallon of regular gas in California was $6.42 as of October 6, 2022, while the national average price was $3.83. A year ago, California’s average gallon of regular gas was $4.42.
Five Things To Know About California’s Gas Prices
Here are five things to know about the gas crisis in the Golden State.
1. High Gas Tax Is To Blame for Extreme Gas Prices
Experts said California’s higher taxes may be the reason for the extreme gas prices. They said gas prices in the state are usually the most expensive in the country due to having the highest gas taxes in the U.S. According to a 2022 IGEN tax report, California’s excise tax rate is .53 cents a gallon.
2. A Gas Shortage May Have Triggered Higher Prices
In September, the Golden State experienced a fuel supply crisis after many refineries cut production, and some had to do unplanned maintenance after the Russia-Ukraine war erupted. This created an unexpected shortage of California’s summer-blend gas a few months before fuel stations would be allowed to sell winter-blend gasoline.
3. Prices Are Expected To Fall
On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced oil refineries could start selling winter-blend gasoline earlier than usual to ease high fuel prices. Experts said it could take a few days or weeks to accomplish, but gas prices should drop once gas stations receive the winter blend shipments.
4. Newsom Condemns the Oil Industry
Governor Newsom said the oil industry is ripping us off as he called on California lawmakers to pass a new tax on the profits made by oil companies and return the money to taxpayers. However, representatives from the oil industry said the state regulations are pushing gas prices higher than the rest of the country.
5. Could the Average Gas Price Reach $7 a Gallon?
A spokesperson for the Southern California Automobile Club said switching from summer blend to winter blend could save drivers 15 to 20 cents per gallon at the pump.
With the average cost of a regular gallon of gasoline in California at $6.49, experts said the average price could continue to rise to the $7 mark. However, they noted that Californians will not likely see $7 a gallon anytime soon since all signs indicate a price decrease.
Saving Money on Gas
California pump prices could fall below $5 a gallon again just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas travel. However, travel experts advised drivers to remember that there are simple ways to improve fuel efficiency, such as:
- watching your speed and avoiding aggressive driving
- ensuring your vehicle tires are properly inflated
- lightening your load
- avoiding long periods of idling
- scheduling regular maintenance for your vehicle
Watch YouTube Video: California Gas Prices on the Rise Again. In the video below, ABC 10 News reports on California’s rise in gas prices.
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