Why Does California Pay More for Gas? Deep Dive on Prices Here

July 2022

ABC7 News

Andrew Campbell, Executive Director, discusses insanely high gas prices in California on ABC7 News.

“‘Gas prices are so high right now,’ said Andrew Campbell, executive director for U.C. Berkeley’s Energy Institute at Haas. ‘It’s really, really insane.’ Campbell tells us gas prices are the highest ever, even after adjusting for inflation. ‘The main driver of gas prices being high right now is high oil prices,’ he said. It’s simple supply and demand. When COVID hit, people stopped driving, so gas prices fell. When the pandemic eased up, we started driving again and prices began to climb. Then, Russia, which produces about 10% of the world’s oil, invaded Ukraine. ‘That drove prices higher, especially because a lot of Western countries have stopped buying Russian oil,’ Campbell said. Another factor, the condition of refineries that turn crude oil into gasoline, such as those in the East Bay. ‘Refineries in some cases had kind of scaled back on maintenance, things like that, during COVID,’ according to Campbell. ‘Now, demand is roaring back for gasoline and the refineries are not producing at their full capacity, some refineries have been shut down.'”


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