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Thu Oct 4, 2012, 01:57 PM

California Gas Stations Begin to Shut on Record-High Prices

Source: Bloomberg News

Gasoline station owners in the Los Angeles area including Costco Wholesale Corp. are beginning to shut pumps because of supply shortages that have driven wholesale fuel prices to record highs.

... Spot, or wholesale, gasoline in Los Angeles has surged 70 cents this week to a premium of $1.15 a gallon versus gasoline futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s the highest level for the fuel since at least November 2007, when Bloomberg began publishing prices there. On an outright basis, the fuel jumped to $3.9495 a gallon.

... Low-P, a gasoline station in Calabasas, California, 30 miles west of Los Angeles, stopped selling unleaded gasoline Oct. 2 and ran out of high-octane and medium-octane fuel yesterday, John Ravi, the station’s owner, said by phone yesterday. Ravi said he posted an “Out of Gasoline” sign on each pump and took down the prices outside his shop.

“I can get gas, but it’s going to cost me $4.90 a gallon, and I can’t sell it here for $5,” Ravi said. “If you come here right now, I’ve got some diesel left. That’s all. My market is open, but no gas.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/California-Gas-Stations-Begin-to-Shut-on-3918907.php

68 replies, 9611 views

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Reply California Gas Stations Begin to Shut on Record-High Prices (Original post)
Newsjock Oct 2012 OP
atreides1 Oct 2012 #1
onenote Oct 2012 #65
JesterCS Oct 2012 #67
deathrind Oct 2012 #2
dixiegrrrrl Oct 2012 #59
MindPilot Oct 2012 #62
AndyTiedye Oct 2012 #3
AndyTiedye Oct 2012 #46
dixiegrrrrl Oct 2012 #60
kestrel91316 Oct 2012 #4
Canuckistanian Oct 2012 #5
Throd Oct 2012 #7
modrepub Oct 2012 #8
CreekDog Oct 2012 #21
Canuckistanian Oct 2012 #44
hack89 Oct 2012 #51
Politicalboi Oct 2012 #6
Brother Buzz Oct 2012 #9
24601 Oct 2012 #25
happyslug Oct 2012 #17
PuffedMica Oct 2012 #22
happyslug Oct 2012 #43
Ter Oct 2012 #63
mrdmk Oct 2012 #10
oldsarge54 Oct 2012 #11
progressivebydesign Oct 2012 #34
oldsarge54 Oct 2012 #50
hack89 Oct 2012 #52
slackmaster Oct 2012 #12
happyslug Oct 2012 #18
slackmaster Oct 2012 #28
happyslug Oct 2012 #42
allinthegame Oct 2012 #13
SoapBox Oct 2012 #15
shanti Oct 2012 #19
busterbrown Oct 2012 #29
AntiFascist Oct 2012 #31
MindPilot Oct 2012 #68
SoapBox Oct 2012 #14
elbloggoZY27 Oct 2012 #16
marlakay Oct 2012 #20
CreekDog Oct 2012 #27
Le Taz Hot Oct 2012 #35
CreekDog Oct 2012 #38
Le Taz Hot Oct 2012 #39
CreekDog Oct 2012 #40
LeftyMom Oct 2012 #47
nichomachus Oct 2012 #23
Exultant Democracy Oct 2012 #24
Le Taz Hot Oct 2012 #36
busterbrown Oct 2012 #26
zonkers Oct 2012 #30
dixiegrrrrl Oct 2012 #61
CreekDog Oct 2012 #64
AtomicKitten Oct 2012 #32
progressivebydesign Oct 2012 #33
leveymg Oct 2012 #37
olddad56 Oct 2012 #41
happyslug Oct 2012 #45
We are Devo Oct 2012 #48
happyslug Oct 2012 #66
Marrah_G Oct 2012 #54
OldDem2012 Oct 2012 #49
hack89 Oct 2012 #53
OldDem2012 Oct 2012 #56
hack89 Oct 2012 #57
ButterflyBlood Oct 2012 #58
JRLeft Oct 2012 #55

Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:05 PM

1. Any bets?

That if Rmoney wins...suddenly all of these refinery problems will get fixed?

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:03 PM

65. Think about it: why would the oil companies manipulate prices in California but not swing states

The conspiracy theories about the California gas price increases are as silly (okay not as silly, but close) to the repubs "BLS cooked the data" conspiracy claims.

If the oil companies were trying to shift the election to Romney, where would they manipulate prices upward by 20 or 30 cents overnight? California, which isn't going to Romney even if prices stay at $5 for the next month (which they probably won't). Or in Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio? The question answers itself. And even as the price has been shooting through the roof in California due to well publicized refinery issues, the price in all four of the states I mentioned is down from a month ago. There may be a small spike in some of those states because the improving economy pushes wholesale prices upward in response to greater demand. But the idea that the oil companies would concoct a refinery problem that impacts California, but not Florida? Silliness.

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Response to onenote (Reply #65)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:48 PM

67. SW Ohio Gas is $3.61

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:08 PM

2. Hmmm...

Sounds very Enron like...

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Response to deathrind (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:23 PM

59. Exactly what I was thinking.

I was living in Ca. during the Enron time, and every single year there would be a gas shortage due to supply problems.
It might be a refinery closing for "repairs" or "maintenance " almost always at the beginning of summer.
or there would a hurricane in the South which for some reason made Cal. refineries have to close, etc etc.
Without fail there would be some reason for a gas shortage.
Plus of course when Enron got involved and created the power Cris.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #59)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:54 PM

62. I recall being in Hawaii at that time...

That week I think the excuse for extra high prices was "transportation costs" which I knew was bullshit since gas was cheaper at the rent-car counter than at my local Costco in San Diego.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:10 PM

3. It Will be Over $5/Gal by Next Week

The gas stations are having to pay almost $5 now, wholesale.

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 11:59 PM

46. $4.77 for Regular in San Mateo, $4.99 for High Test

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #46)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:40 PM

60. 3.51 here in the south boonies.(regular)

Under 3.48 in lots of stations in Mobile Al. for regular.

http://www.gasbuddy.com/

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:12 PM

4. Not good, given how badly bus service has been slashed in recent years.

People no longer have a reliable, convenient alternative to cars in Los Angeles.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:15 PM

5. Why doesn't some entrepreneur rush in with cheaper out-of-state gas?

Isn't that how the "invisible hand" of the free market works?

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Response to Canuckistanian (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:22 PM

7. Gasoline is formulated differently in California this time of year.

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Response to Throd (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 03:33 PM

8. CA could get an emergency waiver from EPA

But if there are no pipelines to other gasoline sources then even this won't help immediately. Everyone wants their own "special" gas formula to address Air Quality so this is what happens when you have a limited number of suppliers. Makes gas companies rich because they have no compitition

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Response to Canuckistanian (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 06:18 PM

21. LA is unique in needing summer gas in October

Remember, LA's summer air quality season, if you will, just like their summer (in a way), extends farther into the fall than most areas. So fewer markets need the special California summer blend of gas.

Of course, LA has a need for stricter gasoline and emissions standards because without them, air quality would be even worse. And that's the rub --if the rules are eliminated or loosened, those in the LA Basin may suffer worse air quality as a result --even unhealthy air quality. It's not just that the tradeoffs aren't desirable, they may not be legal since air quality is a matter of law.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #21)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 10:21 PM

44. Ah, that makes sense

Thanks for the full explanation.

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Response to Canuckistanian (Reply #5)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 11:03 AM

51. Against California law - they have the strictest emission standards in the country

California gas is unique to California in order to meet those standards.

California uses a different sort of gasoline than the rest of the country. It’s a different formulation,” explained Borenstein. “It’s a more expensive formulation to produce. It’s also a cleaner-burning formulation.”

California has the strictest emission control regulations in the country, even stricter than the federal government. And our special gas recipe helps keep pollution down. But it also costs more to produce. On average it adds five to 15 cents to every gallon we buy. Lisa Margonelli, the author of the book, Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank, says one of the things we’re paying for in California is cleaner air.

That bargain gives us cleaner air, but it also means that California is something of a closed market. Since our gas is an exclusive blend, refineries have to be specially designed in order to make it. And it’s a gas that no other state uses.

“You can’t just get in a truck filled with gasoline from Oregon and drive here and flood our market with cheaper gasoline, bringing down the price and make a profit on the side,” said Margonelli. “You can’t do that.”


http://transportationnation.org/2012/04/16/how-gas-prices-make-california-a-red-state/

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:19 PM

6. Things like this should be

Shared throughout the country. The bigger populations support the smaller ones, so this should be shared. Why should Kansas have cheap gas, and Ca pays more. This could be a plot to steal Ca away from Obama if gas is so high.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 04:04 PM

9. California emissions standards for vehicle fuels exceed Federal standards.

Kansas gas couldn't legally be sold in California.

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 06:32 PM

25. I believe that California has the legal right to make that decision. Legal & smart aren't

necessarily the same thing.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:15 PM

17. Local Price of Gasoline is often the product of the transport of Gasoline

California produces a lot of its own oil, but imports even more from overseas, 29% from Saudi Arabia, 23% from Ecuador, 15.9% from Iraq,

http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/petroleum/statistics/2011_foreign_crude_sources.html

Since February 2006, only two of the five top oil producing "states" have seen a decline in production. The two are Alaska and California (Texas and "Federal Off Shore" i.e off the Louisiana Coast, have boomed due to off-shore oil drilling, and North Dakota's Bakken is making North Dakota the third largest oil producer ahead of not only California but Alaska). In Fact Alaska Oil production in 2011 was below California production in 2006. Sometime in the next decade California oil production will exceeds Alaska (ignoring the North Slope), while both continue on a steady decline.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/30/business/la-fi-mo-california-oil-dependence-20120330

Oil Production by State:
http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_crpdn_adc_mbblpd_a.htm

The North Slope Field's peak production was in 1979 at 1.5 MILLION barrels per day, it is, as of 2010, at only 660,000 barrels per day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prudhoe_Bay_Oil_Field

Alaskan oil production has continued to drop since 2010. 2009-2012 the decline is 3.5% for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. For fiscal year 2011 it had been 6.7%, for Fiscal year 2010 7.3%. The average decline has tended to be about 5%.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/even-oil-production-decline-slows-parnell-demanding-tax-cut

What this means is California has to look elsewhere for oil. Given there are no pipeline from Texas to California AND the Panama Canal is to small for modern oil tankers, Russian Oil goes to Moscow and Europe NOT the Pacific AND Indonesia is now an oil IMPORTING country (Malaysia has some oil production and export, but it is small), that leaves the Middle East or importing Oil from European Russia (Both will ship to the California Coast via the Pacific). Before you mention Mexico, the Mexican oil fields are on the East Coast, thus the same problem as shipping from Texas. Columbia actually beats out Venezuela when it comes to exports to California, for any Venezuela oil has to go through the Panama Canal.

My point is the options for California is limited. For most foreign oil it is the last stop on a very long trip. Given that most of the oil going to California has to pass by both Japan and China, what those two are willing to pay for oil has more affect on the price of oil in California then does the price in Texas or Kansas. Japan's problem with its Nuclear plants (Which it had to replace not only with Natural Gas generators but oil generators) and China's own oil problem (China is NOT producing enough electricity for internal use, so many business have opt for oil burning generators as not only back ups but as a primary source of electrical power).

In simple terms, California' problems with oil can only be marginally affected by oil use in the rest of the US. Texas could ship oil by truck and rail, but that is an expensive way to ship oil compared to a pipeline or a tanker ship (And if the price is high enough Texas can produce the gasoline used in California, formulating the gasoline is the least of anybody's problem with getting oil to California). In an emergency situation, oil can be shipped from Texas to California but at prices nearer to $10 a gallon as opposed to the $5 it looks like the price will be.

Just a comment that California (and the rest of the West Coast AND the Mountains west of the Great Plains) will have to accept these high prices. There is NOT much the rest of the country can do. Pipelines take years to build and the Panama Canal is still to small (it is being enlarged) but it will take years to enlarge the Canal. Truck and rail is just to high a price unless the price really gets out of hand.

Side note: Due to the Keystone Pipeline NOT being finished, the northern Mountains (Idaho to the Dakotas) has a lot of "Captured" oil. This oil is oil that due to a lack of pipelines can NOT be shipped south to Texas and thus must be refined locally and thus sold locally, keeping the price below the national average. How far into the Mountains this captured gasoline goes I do not know, may reach eastern Oregon and Washington State but not the coast. May reach Utah, but I doubt Nevada. May reach Denver. Beyond those areas the cost of moving the gasoline gets to high if you are using truck or rail. On the other hand within that region, prices have threaded downward. It is due to the fact this oil is "Captured" that people want the Keystone Pipeline, so they can sell the Oil from that region for higher prices outside that region.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 06:19 PM

22. Incredible as it may sound, what goes around comes around

What you are telling us is the Nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, at least indirectly, is causing gas prices in California to rise.

Small world isn't it?

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Response to PuffedMica (Reply #22)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 10:14 PM

43. The Nuclear disaster in Japan has had world wide ramifications.

Oil is sold at a world wide basis. The only reason gasoline is as cheap as it is, is due to the fact the IS has had a 12% decline in oil usage since 2008. Without that drop in usage, the world wide price of oil would be eight to ten dollars today (Someone would have stop buying oil as the price went to high, it was just that the US is the most dependent on oil and thus where a price increase will lead to a reduction in usage first).

Think about it, In many a third world countries where people go by foot or animal power, they are items they are willing to pay top dollar for. It may be something small, but valuable to them. A bag of rice for example. If it takes a truck to haul that bag to a Central location (thus spreading out the cost of using the truck) you can spread the cost of the truck over many bags of rice. A one ton truck may get only 10 miles to a gallon, but if the bag of rice is 20 pounds, that means 100 bags of rice is on that one ton truck. Thus if a village is five miles away, and everyone agrees to pay $1 for the fuel to get the truck to the village, that village has indicated it would be willing to pay up to $100 a gallon of gasoline so each of its 100 families could get their 20 pounds of rice.

Most third world countries are NOT so desperate as to be willing to pay $100 a gallon of gasoline, but I use the story to point out that in many cases people will pay a higher value for something that gets them something their need.

On the other hand people will STOP paying for something they do not believe is cost efficient for them (Thus since 2001 we have seen a nation wide increase in mass transit usage, this has continued even as we cut support for mass transit).

The big question is how long with the Upper Middle Class permit this to occur before they ask the Government to solve the problem? In the early 1900s problem developed in New York City, people were tearing down their parent's mansions and building Apartment buildings in their place. Why? Because the poor were willing to pay more per square foot for housing then the Upper Middle Class. On the other hand the Upper Middle Class wanted their mansions to be next to other mansions not apartment buildings. The economic push was for Apartments, so people in that area of New York City had New York City pass the first zoning laws, to prevent mansions in their areas from being replaced by Apartment Buildings. i.e use the Government to prevent what Economic policy was causing, when it was against the interests of the Upper Middle Class.

I bring up zoning laws, for it was the best known example of people using their economic might to get government to restrict what the economy was doing to them. To get around Constitutional concerns, Zoning has had to be for everyone (Housing for the poor has to be included in the Zoning plan). The problem has been since the poor has little political power, zoning for them tends to be an afterthought (If not ignore all together till someone sues, then a slight change is made in the zoning plan).

The reason I discussed Zoning, for I can see similar restrictions being imposed on the American People to keep Gasoline prices low. If the US rations by price, the high prices of airline tickets due to the high price of oil, may force upper middle class people to have to cancel their trips to Europe. The reason for the high prices, to many poor Americans will pay too price for gasoline so they can get to work and keep their jobs. Rationing would solve this problem. Low oil prices and the poor will just have to find another way to get to work for they will NOT be allowed to buy gasoline.

Don't think the above is to far fetch, I remember the proposed rationing program of the 1970s. The Government was NOT planning to ration based on driver's licenses (for to many people who did not own a car but had a driver's license) but based on vehicles registrations. i.e if you had no cars, you received no coupons for gasoline, but if you own and had registered 10 cars, you would receive 10 packs of gasoline coupons, one for each car, even if nine of them did not work (but were registered). A Junker on the backyard would NOT count (Unless it was registered with a State, i.e had a license plate and whatever else the state required and even in the 1970s that included insurance and inspection) but the car without an engine, but had a license plate, registered with the State would count.

I use to joke Pennsylvania Safety inspections did not include the engine. The engine did NOT have to run to pass an inspection, the vehicle only had to have the following
1, Lights that worked, including turn signals
2. A horn that worked
3. Brakes that worked (PA demanded a visual inspection of the Brakes, when I was in Texas all that was required was a road test),
4. Good tires,
5. Good windows,
6. Good window wipers that worked,
7. exhaust system that was sealed and worked,
8, Shock absorbers that worked
9. Front Steering system that had worked
that is all. If the vehicle's engine did not turn over or transmission did not propel the wheels (Provided both were properly mounted), but everything else it would pass inspection, for all the state was concern was the vehicle was safe to operate NOT that it ran).

I bring this up for if oil does get to tight and you start to hear demands that people do something about not being able to find any gasoline to buy, demands for rationing will come back, this time as some sort of credit card type but with many of the same restrictions as in the proposed rationing of the 1970s.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #6)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:55 PM

63. Because Cali has ridiculously absurd emissions standards

 

Their extreme laws do more harm than good.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 04:08 PM

10. Here is the real deal

From the OP link

"The California Independent Oil Marketers Association, a Sacramento-based group that represents wholesale and retail fuel marketers, asked the state yesterday to expedite a waiver that would allow refiners to produce and sell winter-grade fuel, Jay McKeeman, a spokesman for the association, said by telephone yesterday."

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/fuel-consumption/summer-fuel1.htm

Summer-grade versus Winter-grade Fuel

"During the summer, pollution is a frequent concern due to increased levels of smog and ozone, which can harm the lungs. Summer heat boosts the formation of ozone, while the appearance of an inversion layer -- an immobile layer of air -- can trap pollutants in the lower atmosphere .

Summer-grade fuel has a different Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) than winter-grade fuel, which contributes to its being (marginally) more eco-friendly. RVP is the vapor pressure of gasoline measured at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Fuels with higher RVP evaporate more easily than those with lower RVP. A particular fuel blend's RVP is based on the combined RVP of the ingredients that make up the blend. Regulators worry about this evaporation because it contributes to ozone formation.

Gasoline must have an RVP below 14.7 PSI (pounds per square inch), which is normal atmospheric pressure; if a fuel's RVP were greater than 14.7 PSI, excess pressure would build up in the gas tank, and the fuel could boil and evaporate. Depending on the part of the country, the EPA's standards mandate an RVP below 9.0 PSI or 7.8 PSI for summer-grade fuel. Some local regulations call for stricter standards. Because of these varying RVP standards, up to 20 different types of boutique fuel blends are sold throughout the U.S. during the summer .

Because RVP standards are higher during the winter, winter-grade fuel uses more butane, with its high RVP of 52 PSI, as an additive. Butane is inexpensive and plentiful, contributing to lower prices. Summer-grade fuel might still use butane, but in lower quantities -- around 2 percent of a blend ."

Need I say more???

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 04:36 PM

11. Question

Is it a shortage of actual gasoline, or has speculators bid up futures again. Anyone know?

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Response to oldsarge54 (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:30 PM

34. speculators. there is NO shortage of Gas in America. we have record supplies..

however, the oil/gas industry makes a killing by exporting our gas to other countries, and importing ours from ME.

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Response to progressivebydesign (Reply #34)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:57 AM

50. That is how

I see it myself. 14% was the last estimate I saw of how much of the gas price is courtesy of speculators.

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Response to oldsarge54 (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 11:04 AM

52. California gas is a unique formulation due to Californian emission laws

it is only sold in California and gas made for other states can't be sold in California.

California uses a different sort of gasoline than the rest of the country. It’s a different formulation,” explained Borenstein. “It’s a more expensive formulation to produce. It’s also a cleaner-burning formulation.”

California has the strictest emission control regulations in the country, even stricter than the federal government. And our special gas recipe helps keep pollution down. But it also costs more to produce. On average it adds five to 15 cents to every gallon we buy. Lisa Margonelli, the author of the book, Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank, says one of the things we’re paying for in California is cleaner air.

That bargain gives us cleaner air, but it also means that California is something of a closed market. Since our gas is an exclusive blend, refineries have to be specially designed in order to make it. And it’s a gas that no other state uses.

“You can’t just get in a truck filled with gasoline from Oregon and drive here and flood our market with cheaper gasoline, bringing down the price and make a profit on the side,” said Margonelli. “You can’t do that.”


http://transportationnation.org/2012/04/16/how-gas-prices-make-california-a-red-state/

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 04:38 PM

12. I've been thinking about getting a mule, but it's a long ride from South Park to La Jolla

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #12)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:35 PM

18. A mule? I have looked at them

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Response to happyslug (Reply #18)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:02 PM

28. People would get out of my way if I had a 106

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #28)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:27 PM

42. Not my experience, when I was in the National Guard, everyone wanted to see the cannons

Such weapons are attractive nuisances, the preteens just love climbing all over them. Once I had to fire a "Salute" with blanks. We set our self up, we loaded the cannon and saw a pre-teen watching us with his father. We saw him looking, ask if he wanted to fire the cannon, his father did not object and and we left him fire the piece. The Gun Crew loaded and unloaded the cannon (we were NOT about to let anyone but a Crew Member do anything that MAY result in an injury), but pulling the lanyard, anyone could do. We then loaded up the Cannon and went back to our armory,

I have heard other stories of pre-teens, teenagers etc, (and adults including Senior Citizens) looking at such weapons and just being a pest looking and touching it (Pest in nice sort of way, no harm to the crew or the weapon was ever attempted).

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:03 PM

13. yawn

California (by its own hand) goes through this every Spring and Fall when we convert in and out of lightweight gas. Naturally it looms large because an election is right around the corner, however, if you lived here it would just be another inconvience to the auto world in which we live. Gas at my corner station rose 26 cents overnight and I suspect it is just the beginning (but don't look for us on the trains and buses!)

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Response to allinthegame (Reply #13)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:10 PM

15. Yes but...

in this case, they are saying that the Mobil refinery in Torrance had a "power" failure, causing the plant to be
shut down...they say they may need to BURN off gas in the lines for up to a week before they can restart...supposedly
they supply a huge amount of the gas to the region. We could see burn off yesterday and it has got to be at least 10 miles away.

Conveniently, a Phillips plant, just a spit away from me, about 3-4 weeks ago, had a "power" failure, which required
them to burn off (aka a several flames that must have been 12 feet or more high AND belched out a HUGE coal black
plume) for almost 24 hours. Thank gawd the wind was not blowing in our direction. They apparently don't produce gasoline
but fuel that is shipped out of the area.

What the HELL? Two, "power" failures????

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:58 PM

19. and don't forget

the problems that the chevron plant in the north bay area was having last month. they raised prices then too.

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:09 PM

29. Live in L.A. and I'm pissed.....

Because of the Torrence fuck up, we end up paying through the ass.
This is an example which democrats can use as an example of free
market bullshit.

Racketeers in the trading industry should not be allowed to play with
these types of commodities! They gamble on our dime!

If anyone can explain this spot market shit. Please do so.

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:10 PM

31. I live near a Philips refinery also...

and suddenly had 2 power outages this week (haven't had one for long time up until then). Hmmmm....

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Response to allinthegame (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 03:05 PM

68. Yeah and it seems like every year

it is a big fucking surprise to the refiners who generally pick this time of year to either shut down for maintenance or set something on fire.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:04 PM

14. I just got gas...stunning

At a local Circle K (which is the "cheapo" in the area)...went from $3.98 to $4.30.
BUT....all the handles were covered in plastic...no gas was being pumped. SO, went to (gag, cough, spit)
the Mobil...$4.35 / gal. I was the only car there....

Talk about playing games and KILLING America and American jobs!

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:15 PM

16. Gasaholics

 

What we need is a real alternative fuel program and start taxing these oil giants who only care about themselves for way to many years.

It will be worse if the GOP gets into the White House.


We the people can change this and have the power.

Lets wake up before its way to late.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 06:15 PM

20. Great just when i am leaving on driving trip to cali

this weekend…perfect timing…ugh!

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Response to marlakay (Reply #20)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 06:59 PM

27. It's mostly effecting the LA area and Southern California

if you're headed up here, haven't noticed any earth shattering prices, just the usual expensive-ish ones.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #27)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:39 PM

35. Wrong.

It was $4.35 in the Central Valley as of this morning.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #35)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:49 PM

38. No, the effects in the article refer to LA-area problems

and you've never corrected your completely wrong assertions about the Clean Air Act not applying to the Bay Area --meaning you have little credibility on this issue.

you've made wrong assertions about the Clean Air Act not applying to the Bay Area (it does apply since it is federal law) yet in the past couple months, you've wrongly asserted that it does not apply to the Bay Area.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021073421#post18

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #38)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:57 PM

39. Seek help.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #39)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 08:01 PM

40. seek to inform and not misinform

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #35)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:22 AM

47. Yeah, but it was 3.83 over the weekend.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 06:27 PM

23. People will adjust to higher prices

Heck they've been doing it for years now.

Shortages will cause riots and violence.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 06:28 PM

24. It is an election year with a democratic incumbent. This is par for course.

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Response to Exultant Democracy (Reply #24)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:40 PM

36. And it's California.

We must be punished for giving Obama 55 electoral college votes.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:10 PM

30. S.Cal. drivers kind of suck. Jump on the freeway. No one car pools. 90 percent

of cars have one person inside. This must change. And BTW, the only time I saw gas prices keep folks off the road was during the Bush II's Admin. when it reached five bucks. That seems to be the tipping point.

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Response to zonkers (Reply #30)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:51 PM

61. Many pundits have claimed that 5.00 gasoline will be the tipping point

for civil unrest, protests, demonstrations, etc.
I doubt that any of those pundits live in Ca..

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #61)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:56 PM

64. We've had $5+ gas here more than a few times before

I don't like it, but as long as it's available I think we'll be okay.

If there are widespread shortages, I wonder if CARB will or can grant an exception on a short term basis to import gas from other states?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:14 PM

32. It's $4.83/gallon here in SF today.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:28 PM

33. stupid fucking oil speculators.. like the Koch Brothers. But repubs refuse to rein them in. nt

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:42 PM

37. This is so 1980, redux. Big Oil creating a false gas crisis, and profiting from it.

I hope that in his second term, Obama does finally go after these bastards.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 08:06 PM

41. what if everyone chose a brand, say Chevron, and boycotted that brand for a week?

then the following week, chose BP, then Shell, etc.

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Response to olddad56 (Reply #41)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 10:24 PM

45. The better plan would be to boycott ALL OF THEM AT ONCE. i.e. stop using gasoline

I know that is hard for many people, but that is the best solution. The problem is that today, gasoline is sold as a commodity. i.e. You buy your gas from BP or Shell or Exxon, the gasoline still comes from the same refinery. Thus if you boycott one of them, but buy your gasoline from someone else, the refinery is still selling the same amount of gasoline, just at different amounts to different stations. The Shell station loses money this week, but Exxon or BP makes up the difference.

Thus no pressure on the Refinery/Distributor to cut prices, for it is still selling the same amount of fuel, just different amount to different retailers.

The only way to get the price to drop is to drop TOTAL demand for gasoline, i.e. stop buying gasoline from ANYONE. Get an bicycle, an electric bicycle, buy a moped (uses less gasoline, thus cuts total usage) and USE IT. Reserve your car for trips with more then one person in the car (Look into mass transit). All of these will reduce TOTAL gasoline usage and thus demand and thus the price.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #45)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:10 AM

48. Not going to happen

Gotta drive from Pasadena to Santa Monica for a few hours, then off to the second job in Burbank. This is how a lot of us make our living in SoCal...

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Response to We are Devo (Reply #48)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:15 PM

66. And that is why the price will go up, until something happens

If this price increase is a product of the annual conversion from Gasoline to Home Heating Oil (This happens every year in Texas and the East Coast, as refineries go from Home Heating oil to Gasoline), or the produce of one of two refineries being off due to needed repairs, the supply of gasoline will increase shortly and the price will drop. Both have been mentioned on this thread, thus may be the cause of this latest price increase. If those are the causes, this is just a temporary increase in price, and on top of that of local significance only.

On the other hand, if this price increase is NOT a product of the above, but a product of the decline in production of Alaskan and California oil, then the price will go up till people STOP buying for they can not afford it (or the price gets so high, that oil producers ship to California so they can get a piece of the increase for the price of oil).

That fact that you need gasoline to get to your job (or jobs) will just increase demand and push up the price till the price gets to high that people STOP DRIVING, even if there are no alternatives (i.e. you lose your job for you can NOT get to your job, for you can not afford to buy the Gasoline for your car so you can drive to your job). That is economics 101. A lot of people are NOT going to like it, but it will come someday. Even OPEC accepts the concept of Peak Oil, the debate is when it will occur NOT that is will occur and thus you should be looking at how you will address peak oil and the resulting high prices for oil.

One of the concepts behind peak oil is that as supply peaks out, the ability of the Supply chain to get oil to everyone will tighten and you will have shortages in various locations, even while most people have access to oil. This may be what we are seeing in California, it is suffering a oil shortage due to being at the end of the supply line in a time period of reduced production of oil and the ONLY way to address that problem is to reduce oil usage. If you can not, you will end up digging a deeper and deeper hole for yourself.

Yes, I know it is hard to find a job that does NOT require you to use a Car. That is why I mentioned Bicycles and electric cars and cycles. These are much slower then a car, but do NOT require Gasoline. I hate to say this, sooner or later you will have to address the problem of Peak Oil, and ignoring it because you can NOT think of a way to address it is NOT an answer to how you will address Peak Oil.

Another thought, remember the US has drop oil consumption 12% since 2008, 2007 was the first year the US ever had a reduction in oil consumption over the previous year. Thus the only reason the price of gasoline is so low, is due to this huge drop in demand. Thus you should thank every user of Public Transportation, every bicyclist who rides to work, every car pooler, for they action are what had reduce the DEMAND for gasoline and thus kept the price low for you.

Side note: I know you produce Gasoline as a by-product of making Fuel oil (and you have Fuel oil as a by-product when you make gasoline). The Spring and Fall switch is not to make gasoline or Fuel oil only, but to change the balance. When you refine oil you can make more gasoline and less Fuel Oil, or Less gasoline and more Fuel oil. No matter what both are produced, but the key is how much of each out of every barrel of oil. People have objected to my statements of Gasoline production in Summer, Fuel oil in winter for that is not 100% correct, given both are the by produce of each other. For example a few years ago when Europe had a harsh winter, Europe made a lot of Fuel Oil to keep itself warm, and in the process produces a lot of gasoline. The Price of Gasoline dropped due to this excess supply, not only in Europe, but in the US (Where much of the excess gasoline was sent).

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Response to happyslug (Reply #45)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:09 PM

54. It's not hard, it's impossible

Most people have no other way to get to work. Giving up driving means giving up a roof over your head and food in your stomachs.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:40 AM

49. Does anyone else think this is a GOP ploy to...

...cause California to flip to the GOP on Election Day? Will this cause enough California voters to blame the Obama Administration and vote for Romney?

California has 55 electoral votes....think about it.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #49)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 11:55 AM

53. No - it is caused by California's strict emission laws

California gas is a unique formulation that is made and sold only in California. Because it is in effect a niche market within a bigger market, it has its own dynamic.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #53)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:19 PM

56. Sorry, not buying it....

...when you have all of these refineries (from the article) having problems at the same time, it's very difficult for me to believe it's a mere coincidence:

"Exxon’s 150,000-barrel-a-day Torrance refinery may flare gases for a week as it restores production after a power failure that shut some units and slowed output from others, Gesuina Paras, an Exxon spokeswoman in Torrance, said by e-mail Oct. 2.

Chevron’s Kettleman-Los Medanos pipeline, which carries crude from Kern County to Northern California refineries operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp., remained shut after elevated levels of organic chloride were detected in the oil.

Chevron’s 240,000-barrel-a-day Richmond plant, the largest refinery in Northern California, has been running at reduced capacity since a fire Aug. 6."

...and finally, to add still more problems:

"Phillips 66 is also scheduled to perform maintenance on process units at its Rodeo and Los Angeles refineries this month, people familiar with the schedules said."

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #56)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:26 PM

57. You need to show me how many total refineries there are.

what you are seeing is the shift from summer to winter gas - which is when problems crop up. This is also the time they do maintenance.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #49)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:53 PM

58. No because it's going to take a lot more than this to flip California

Romney will be lucky to break 40% in California.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:09 PM

55. Whoa gas is $4.89 a gallon on market st in Oakland, CA.

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