State’s high gas prices have potential to rise even higher

A gallon of regular gasoline in California Wednesday averaged 53 cents higher than a month ago. Will it go much higher?

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It’s tough to predict, but the potential is there because a big driver of the price spike is international tension.

The Russia-Ukraine war and Iran’s threats to Israel are adding a new dose of uncertainty to an already volatile mix of reasons prices go up as summer approaches.

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“Ukraine attacked Russia’s supplies, and Iran has become a major threat in the last two weeks,” said Sanjay Varshney, professor of finance at California State University, Sacramento.

An Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria April 1 killed several Iranian military officials. U.S. officials are expecting Iran to retaliate. The tension in the Middle East is among the reasons U.S. oil prices are up about 20% this year, ranging recently from roughly $85 to $90 a barrel.

A gallon of regular gasoline in California Wednesday averaged $5.41, according to AAA. That figure was the highest in the country, topping runnerup Hawaii by 69 cents a gallon. The national average Wednesday was $3.63.

California’s average was 53 cents a gallon more than a month ago and 21 cents above the cost a week ago.

Local prices included:

Sacramento, the average was $5.53, up from $4.86 a month ago.

Fresno, $5.41 Wednesday, $4.77 a month ago.

Modesto, $5.41 Wednesday, $4.70 a month ago.

Merced, $5.44 Wednesday, $4.82 a month ago.

San Luis Obispo area, $5.55 Wednesday, $5.06 a month ago.

Prices “should normally go down but we see geopolitical risks going up at times with potential involvement of other countries in the Middle East and Ukraine regional conflicts. This gets reflected in terms of higher prices at the gas pump,” said Gokce Soydemir, Foster Farms endowed professor of business economics at California State University, Stanislaus.

While the average California price is still well below the June 2022 record of $6.44, and shows no immediate signs of getting anywhere near that, several elements are still in play that could keep prices at current levels, if not higher.

Doug Shupe, Autombile Club of Southern California spokesman, cited “planned and unplanned refinery maintenance has caused supply issues” affecting prices.

Imported gasoline has been ordered and should arrive later in April, according to the Oil Price Information Service, which specializes in price and supply trend data.

Shupe noted there is also planned maintenance at a refinery in Washington state that supplies Southern California and could last several weeks.

Any refinery interruption has an important effect on supply.

California requires that drivers use a special blend of gasoline aimed at reducing emissions from motor vehicles. That means the state’s refineries produce cleaner fuel.

“Refineries in the state often operate at or near maximum capacity because of the high demand for those petroleum products and the lack of interstate pipelines that can deliver those cleaner fuels into the state,” said an analysis from the federal Energy Information Administration.

When a refinery has to shut down, the lack of supply from interstate pipelines “means replacement supplies of (California gasoline) come in by marine tanker from out-of-state U.S. refineries or from other countries. It can take several weeks to find and bring replacement motor gasoline from overseas that meets California’s unique specifications.”


  1. The political rhetoric,the brainwashing, the unrest of humanity, a socialistic play at its best!!!

  2. Those who complain about the price and vote for the D are getting what they voted for. But most are not that smart to figure out that yes politicians do have a lot to do with price. Under President Trump we were energy independent. It really would of not mattered. Unfortunately California has to be on it own so once again being different cost us more. This state could drill and pump its own oil we have plenty. But those in charge like Pompador don’t want to. So that leaves us at the mercy of others. So next time you bitch about gas prices. Remember it all started with who you voted for.

  3. This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Russia, Iran or online but BIDEN and Newsom. So if you voted form them, your chickens have come home to roost. Suck it up.

  4. Believe ANY of this – and I have a bridge for sale in AZ!!!!

    Political bullshit at it’s finest!!!

  5. Get off the GAS Roller Coaster! Say goodbye to the lines at Costco. Call your solar provider and get a no cost up-front solar system with Tesla batteries that will work in a power outage. The monthly fee will lock in your power charges. Use roof power to charge your new EV. If you can’t afford a Tesla, buy a Chevy Bolt off lease for 17-20k. You’ll save money and be able to drive in the coming power outage.

    • Better idea vote all these Democrats out of office! No solar panel maintenance, no battery maintenance, no “charge worries”. The only way this saves me money is to buy an EV and those are obviously not doing so good. Solar in the house saves a little but I’ll have to spend that on Newscom and Legislature gas price increases. Besides I’m already paying for your solar/EV subsidies so no thanks!

  6. stanny1…….ONLY if yhou dare to trust these communist fascist racist satanic morons that run our government!! I don’t trust our Energy infrastucture. You can literally walk by a telephone poll and cough, and the transformer will blow. I worked for Southern Cal Edison for 15 years and during /after storms the line crews would go out and make Emergency TEMPORARY Repairs. However, like PG&E, they would never go back and make PERMENANT repairs. You wanna trust our electric system, and have the BIG bucks to buy a Tesla, that’s YOUR business. However NOBODY has the right to FORCE others to go EV!!! (unless you wanna buy me a Tesla…….but I’ll just stick with gas as it’ll still be available for the next 200 years or so)

  7. Tax Tax Tax. Crappy gasoline, carppy mileage. Bogus summer blend.

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