John & Ken have come the conclusion that NOBODY is on your side to lower gas prices. CA prices have spiked in just a few weeks and will get much worse. The oil companies are quietly getting record profits while woke politicians who want to get you out of your cars refuse to take action to reduce prices. There is plenty of blame to be shared. Bottom line....you are screwed.
Kevin Slagle from the Western States Petroleum Association made an effort to explain what is happening with gas prices. He's a great guy and we are friends but there is no good explanation for why prices keep going up and up. Listen to the interview below.
Much of California’s high gasoline costs are explainable. The state’s 54-cent gasoline excise tax is among the highest in the country — only Pennsylvania’s is higher. There are also stricter environmental regulations and special fuel blends that prevent rampant smog from accumulating in cities, altogether these factors tack on roughly $1.20 to California’s gas prices.
But the widening gap between what everyone from San Jose to Los Angeles is paying compared to the rest of the country is due to the concentrated nature of California’s oil refineries, experts say. Due to the state’s special gas blend, California is often termed a “fuel island” because nearly all gas sold in the state is refined locally by a handful of companies, including Chevron, Marathon Petroleum and PBF Energy. That means mechanical hiccups at refineries can cause major price spikes not seen elsewhere in the country.
Tom Kloza, of the Oil Price Information Service, said the reduced flow of gas is likely due to refiners bringing equipment offline for maintenance. He said much of the oil industry deferred regularly scheduled maintenance in spring so they could continue reaping record profits during the energy price spike following the Russian invasion.
But it’s hard to get to the bottom of exactly why California’s oil refiners have reduced output now just as prices drop elsewhere. There has been no major refinery outage or catastrophe reported in recent months. Instead, experts glean information from oil production reports. “Because of antitrust regulations, we don’t know how individual refineries are operating,” said Kevin Slagle, vice president of the Western States Petroleum Association.
In a statement, the California Energy Commission said state refineries are seeing “temporary” production issues that, coupled with maintenance activity and “lower-than-normal gasoline inventories,” is driving the current price spike over the past four weeks.
The mysterious price surge comes as California Gov. Gavin Newsom has turned up the rhetoric against the oil industry as the Golden State moves to phase out most gas-powered vehicles by 2035 and expand restrictions