SAN DIEGO – Due to planned and unexpected maintenance issues at oil refineries, gas prices have soared in California.
AAA reports the national average price of gas is $3.797, compared to $6.293 in California as of Friday.
California relies on the 15 oil refineries in the state to produce transportation fuel due to air quality standards in each region.
“We can’t use gasoline that’s refined let’s say in Texas or some other part of the country because it doesn’t meet the formulation that’s necessary to address the pollution problem,” economist Joe Silverman told FOX 5.
Another reason, Silverman says, is high taxes. “Our state gasoline tax is higher in California than it is almost than any other state; probably the highest in the country.”
California has tried to end its dependency on petroleum for years, finally committing to the sale of electric vehicles by 2035 – which Silverman says could potentially cause for more refinery maintenance issues in the future.
“They are not going to be investing to expand capacity, they are probably going to do the bare amount of maintenance. Because if we are not going to be driving around in gasoline-powered cars and you are a big oil company, why would you spend billions of dollars to expand your capacity and do more maintenance?” Silverman said.
Oil refineries are required to create a summer blend of gasoline, which is more expensive, until October 31. Governor Gavin Newsom announcing he would like refineries to start producing a winter blend, which is cheaper, to drive the costs down.
California residents should also be expecting their gas tax rebate in their bank accounts soon. With payments going into accounts in October, to check to see how much you are qualified to get click here.