California paying the price for increased regulation of gas

AP/Fuel Fix:
Gouging by oil companies could be one reason California drivers pay about 76 cents more for a gallon of regular gas than motorists elsewhere in the nation, a state government panel was told Monday.

Fuel experts and consumer advocates also told the Petroleum Market Advisory Committee that a high state gas tax and more rigorous regulations have kept prices relatively high as oil prices have plunged across the nation in recent months.

Drivers in California pay more partly because of stiffer fuel blend standards to meet the state’s unique air-quality rules, speakers said at the hearing.
...
Dolores Santos of the Oil Price Information Service noted that a number of fuels advisers and gas companies have left California or deactivated their businesses — increasing pricing fluctuations — since a regulatory provision of Assembly Bill 32 took effect a year ago.
...
The main gouging is by the State of California which has some of the highest fuel taxes in the country.  Add that to the regulatory requirements that restrict the building of refineries and the special blend and you wind up with very expensive gas at the pump.

The story actually understates the price differential.  On my recent trip to California from Texas, the price dropped a dollar a gallon crossing over into Arizona.  The price in California was roughly twice what I pay in Texas.  Califonia's control freak regulators and legislators are the primary sources of this price differential.  I suspect they are emulating Europe in this regard and the result is a lot of really small cars and incentives to drive electric vehicles.

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