So Cal drivers suffer record spike in gas prices
It's not a happy time to drive in California.
California is suffering the worst spike in gasoline prices in over a decade and is now paying the highest prices in the country, apart from Hawai'i. The rise in cost is due to refinery maintenance, production of expensive summer gasoline, and speculation.
The prices paid by California motorists are very close to prices paid by those living on the island of Maui, where the nation typically has the highest prices. In Wailuku, HI, the price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $4.399. Southern California residents are paying $4.316 per gallon on average.
The meteoritic rise in prices comes as a result of an unusually high level of maintenance required to keep the refineries operating safely. Such disruptions will become increasingly common as the few refineries still operating in California continue to age.
California also switches to a more expensive blend of gasoline in the summer to help fight air pollution, particularly in the state's San Joaquin Valley, which suffers the worst air quality in the nation. This switch requires that refineries shut down for several days to make the transition and happens twice per year.
Finally, speculators are being blamed as they bet on high California gas prices for this time of year. Their correct bet means a number of investors have made good money in the past month.
There is relief on the way. The summer blend switches should be complete before the end of March and speculators are pulling their profits out of the market. Both of these factors should increase supply and reduce prices.
High gas prices are unpopular everywhere, but Californians are acutely aware of them in a state where a car is not just a luxury, but virtually mandatory. With plenty of room to expand, most cities have grown into sprawling metropolises rather than building upwards as is done in many older cities. Nor have mass transit options kept pace with growth. The result is a dependence on automobiles that can get expensive when gas prices spike.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More U.S. News
- Courageous Cardinal George Challenges Us to Use Lent as a Time to Take Stock of Our Lives
- Deal Hudson on the Creed: What Kind of One is 'One God'
- Fr. Paul Schenck: The New Eugenics, 'Better Babies' and the Dangers of Biotechnology
- Interview With Cardinal SeŠn Patrick O'Malley Gives Insights into the Heart of Pope Francis
- Deal W. Hudson: Why Social Conservatives Should Become Cultural Conservatives
- CORPORATE SPY: Engineering consultant accused of stealing secrets from DuPont for Chinese
- 24th season of Defending Life Premiered March 5th on EWTN
- Justina Pelletier: Massachusetts DCF Running for Cover Under Legal and Media Pressure
- Matt C. Abbott On a New Book, The Seven Big Myths About Marriage
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?