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Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:30 PM

Gov. Newsom calls for investigation into California's high gas prices

Source: SF Chronicle



Gov. Gavin Newsom directed the California Energy Commission to look into possible irregularities in the state’s gas prices, which have recently soared above $4 per gallon. “Independent analysis suggests that an unaccounted-for price differential exists in California’s gas prices and that this price differential may stem in part from inappropriate industry practices,” Newsom wrote in a letter to the commission on Monday. “These are all important reasons for the Commission to help shed light on what’s going on in our gasoline market.”

Newsom asked the commission to provide a preliminary analysis by May 15. The commission announced it would start the probe immediately. Issues at California refineries have contributed to the high prices, according to gas price tracker GasBuddy, which recorded the average price at $4.03 in California and $4.10 in San Francisco on Tuesday. That’s more than $1 per gallon higher than the national average. A group of state lawmakers, including several from the Bay Area, sent a letter to Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office in January asking for an investigation into gas prices. The request was spurred by the “final report” of the Petroleum Market Advisory Committee, which was formed by the Energy Commission in 2014.

According to the letter, the report found that after accounting for the state’s gas tax, fuel blend and greenhouse gas reduction costs, prices in California since February 2015 had a “continuous and significant unexplained differential compared to the rest of the country.” Before a fire at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance (Los Angeles County) in 2015, gas price spikes following refinery problems tended to be of shorter duration, according to Severin Borenstein, faculty director of the Energy Institute at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

“From 1996 until the February 2015 Exxon Torrance refinery explosion in Southern California, our gasoline price premium tracked closely with our higher taxes and production costs,” Borenstein wrote in a blog post in 2017. “Occasional refinery outages spiked prices, but they returned to the expected differential within a month or two, because that’s how long it takes to import our special blend from refineries outside the state. The 2015 Torrance explosion, however, has been a different story.” Borenstein estimated the “mystery surcharge” has cost consumers $20 billion.



Read more: https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Newsom-calls-for-investigation-into-13789550.php

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:37 PM

1. $2.49 a gallon for regular unleaded here in Laredo, Texas.

Keep Texas happy. It's cheaper down here, because it's processed down here? The further north you go, the further toward the west coast you go....the higher the price gets....to where it make me wonder....because it's processed in Texas?

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Response to Hulk (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 10:14 PM

3. Virginia and NJ are pretty cheap as well

Last edited Thu Apr 25, 2019, 12:01 PM - Edit history (1)

CA does have the strictest in the nation emissions and pollution laws. That might have something to do with it. Probably a higher gas tax too.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 11:42 PM

7. They're saying those factors don't explain the entire price differential.

Gas prices appear to be higher than they should be, even after taking California's regulations and taxes into account.

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Response to Hulk (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:08 AM

9. California also has refineries and oil fields

So I'm not sure why Texas gas is cheaper.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:45 PM

2. 2.63/ gallon here in Virginia

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 10:22 PM

4. Their gas tax is nearly .50 a gallon; if they charge sales tax on the price, thats up to .10 more.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 10:40 PM

5. I appreciate Calfornia's enviro laws... rather than just bragging...

about your lower gas prices... maybe it would be interesting to chat about the news 'issue'... or is this Facebook?

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 11:05 PM

6. Thank you Gov Newsom!

Just filled my tank and it was $4.15 at the 7/11. Ouch! Glad I do not drive much anymore.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 11:54 PM

8. Trump imposed sanctions on Iran.

Iran retaliated by threatening to close the suez canal. Because Iran can't sell most of their oil, other nations have to buy from other countries.... this includes the U.S.

As a result, our exports have increased. This leads to less domestic oil on the U.S. market. Decreased supply leads to higher prices.

Thank, Donald.

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:09 AM

10. Somehow I knew it would circle round to trumpft.

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:57 AM

11. And it appears that for SOME reason, California is taking the punishment for it.

Go get 'em Newsom!
I'll never forget how the GOP pushed for the recall of newly elected Gray Davis; and Gray was replaced by a famous movie star (Schwarzenegger)—by blaming him for the electricity power crisis—and the whole thing ended up being a big fucking Texas lie (ENRON), that was followed by convictions. But in the end, the GOPutin got their Hollywood movie star as governor.

And if you ask me, I think the GOP is working on bring down Newsom in the same manner: I'm seeing a lot of the same bull shit.
They tried to blame Brown for the friggin' drought.

That is the way the GOPutin operates.

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Response to C Moon (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 07:13 AM

12. No. Gas prices are rising across the country. Just that Ca. has higher gas prices.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 07:33 AM

13. Add to that the distances and almost complete reliance on auto in CA

For daily chores walking, bicycling, public transport almost impossible. Old adage that Californians have to get in the car to go across the street.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 08:00 AM

14. Gas is around 3.00/gal

here in western PA, higher in Allegheny county because they didn't get their request to the EPA in on time to use a regular summer blend and are still using a unique, high-cost blend.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 09:59 AM

15. Republican Areas In California Have CHEAPER gas

I live near Stockton, California. When I travel to democratic areas the fuel is more expensive by $0.25. Cheaper fuel is sold in areas which elect republicans. The cheaper fuel is a TREAT for those people. In democratic areas the fuel could be $1.00 or higher (S.F.) in democratic voting areas which are VERY close to democratic areas and NOT near republican areas. California may have higher taxes for fuel, but the fuel cost in the state is BIZARRE. This investigation better not be ANOTHER white wash like the last investigation.....I think the energy commission is in bed with big business......

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:21 PM

16. The price of gasoline is correct for inflation.

In 1929 a gallon of gasoline was 25 cents. The inflation rate for today is 3000+% so the price of gas should be $3.72. In California there is new tax to pay for the roads that was approved last year by California voters. In Europe they pay double what California pays for a gallon of gas. Also driving is a privilege so drivers need to pay for that.

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Response to ansible (Original post)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 02:25 PM

17. $3.94 per gallon, yesterday in Southern California.

Last time I purchased gas, it was in the $3.40 range.

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