The Mystery Of High Gas Prices In California

Californians are currently paying 49 cents more per gallon than the national average, but for them, it’s cheap. While it’s a welcomed change that helps put some extra cash back in everyone’s wallet, it is nowhere near as cheap as it could be. For most of the last year their price was 60 cents above national average, and several times last year it topped $1 more.
Due to high taxes and pollution reducing gas that isn’t sold anywhere else, this state often tops the list for highest prices in the country, but historically it was 35 cents or less per gallon above national average. In one estimate, the large and often growing gap that has persisted over the past 18 months has cost California’s drivers more than $10 billion.
In an effort to pinpoint the cause of the excessive charge and try to fix it, a panel of fuel-market experts were gathered by the state government and have worked hard for months to try to find the cause but have had no luck so far. They will be meeting again this week to try again. Unfortunately, the panel’s chairman has stated that he feels they may be unable to find an answer because they require the legal authority to dig deeper. He went on to discuss how they lack subpoena power and investigative power, all they are able to do is ask people to come and talk to them and hope they will give solid and honest answers.
California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, has been working with the panel and issued subpoenas to several oil companies seeking information on gas supplies and pricing back in June. While this sounds promising, her office has been involved in investigating the California gas market before and they were unable to find answers.
One of the problems pinpointed so far is a lack of interest in gas prices by policy makers. Without them showing interest and wanting to help change the market, it is hard to move forward. Of course, considering the cost to the state’s citizens is in the billions of dollars, it would likely be a good idea for policy makers to show some interest and put forth the effort into finding out what’s really going on. More information and details can be found here.