Why Gas Prices Are So Much Higher in California And How The State is Reacting

October 2022


Severin Borenstein talks about the state government’s reaction to high gas prices on PBS.

“We rely on competition to keep them from driving those prices up. And California definitely has a less competitive gasoline market than the rest of the country, partially because we use this cleaner-burning gasoline formulation that we can’t trade with the rest of the country, partially because two refiners in California control about half of the entire gasoline market…So we really do have a potential problem here. The gasoline companies claim that the real problem is various regulatory barriers. And I think that’s worth looking into. Unfortunately, the politicians get very interested in this when the price spikes, and then the price comes back down, and, even if it stays a little higher than it should, they move on to other issues…I think it’s time that we really need to dig into this and not lose focus.

Read more about “California’s high gas prices” in The Washington Post and CBS News.

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