Gasoline prices in Orange County were at an average of $3.79 per gallon for regular unleaded in San Clemente three weeks ago, but the average price as of Wednesday was about $4.19 per gallon, according to gasbuddy.com.  Photo: Eric Heinz
Gasoline prices in Orange County were at an average of $3.79 per gallon for regular unleaded in San Clemente three weeks ago, but the average price as of Wednesday was about $4.19 per gallon, according to gasbuddy.com. Photo: Eric Heinz

By Eric Heinz

Southern California enjoyed cheaper gas while it lasted, but the state’s supply is not up to par with the rest of the nation, according to petroleum analysts.

Allison Mac, petroleum analysts with gasbuddy.com for the western United States, said because California hasn’t produced enough petroleum, energy reports had retailers scrambling to change prices.

“These big increases started (July 9), and the main Energy Information Administration report showed, on July 8, we were below comfortable levels as to how much supply we have in Southern California,” Mac said.

Mac said the population in California has been growing year after year, meaning the demand has been higher with the production unable to keep up.

“The gas market basically freaked out and prices went up,” Mac said. “Wholesale prices rose $1.27 per gallon. Oil is still cheap. It’s economics 101, but if you think about it, prices dropped in Southern California from May until now. Things were looking good; we survived Memorial Day Weekend and survived Fourth of July, and there was an increase in use, and we were using a lot of gas, so that could be an explanation to why our supply is lower.”

Another factor as to why California has some of the highest gas prices in the nation is because it has one of the highest gas taxes at about 60 cents per gallon. That is coupled with the mandatory unique blend of gasoline the state uses, which costs more to produce but emits less.

Mac said the prices are likely to remain steady in the foreseeable future, unless California starts importing or producing more petroleum.

“Imports started coming in March, and we said we needed to supply cushion,” Mac said. “Then this report came out saying that we were getting no imports.”

On Wednesday, Mac said prices were stabilizing but not going down.

About The Author Staff

comments (1)

  • Watch out for the crooked pumps at the Poche beach Arco station. I was in there last week filling up with my atm card and after the pump shut off the meter kept on running full speed until I removed the nozzle from my car. The county weights and measures inspector was there testing the pumps because of complaints, after I told him what happened he told me that at least two others were doing the same thing and he had shut them down. When I complained to the owner? “Ali” started screaming about all the $$$ he has and that he has no reason to steal. Also I was now banned forever from ever returning to his gas station! Well, I take that as a textbook example of how a thief would react when caught stealing.

comments (1)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>