Gasoline, on the rise slightly from the lows seen at the end of last year, continues to see the gallon below the psychological mark of $3 across most US regions – save for the West Coast.
The recent oil rebound had to do with the recent price increases at the pumps across the nation, but California – a state that eats up gas as fast as New York and Florida together – saw the greatest price hike. Drivers in Los Angeles have to pay more than $4 a gallon, which entitles them to have the unwanted glory of paying the most in the country for their fuel. The global oil rally is not the only reason for this trend – in February a refinery near Los Angeles had an explosion, a plant in Washington state was hit by a fire and two other California facilities have been going through repairs. Coupled with the fact that cargo tankers need to bring the needed fuel from Asia or Europe and the toughest emissions policies in the country make up the mix for the most expensive gas in the nation.
Motoring club AAA predicts the high level of gas prices look set to remain in California until at least late summer, with the average gasoline price for a gallon of regular being $2.707 on May 18, said the AAA. According to the weekly Energy Information Administration figures, the drivers on the East Coast, which are fueled from other parts of the country easily by a network of pipelines, on average pay 88 cents less than their counterparts on the West Coast.