October 5, 2012

RED STATE CALIFORNIA: With gasoline now over $5.00 a gallon in some regions (including a San Jose station I drove by yesterday), “California is now a red state, at least from the perspective of retail gasoline prices,” George Savage writes at Ricochet, linking to the above map of regional gas prices from GasBuddy.com. Why is California gas so expensive?

California has made itself a closed market for auto fuel by mandating expensive seasonal gasoline blends, purportedly to reduce air pollution–nobody ever compares the contribution made by special fuels to those from automotive clean air technology generally. Each seasonal changeover presents one more opportunity for a supply-disrupting refinery mishap and skyrocketing local prices, such as the current fiasco, which is sending local prices to $5 per gallon and climbing.

Of course, gasoline wholesalers in adjoining states would be more than happy to boost their profits by selling to California retailers, reducing our pain at the pump. However, doing so is illegal.

At Power Line, Steve Hayward adds:

But President Obama could order the EPA to waive the gasoline regulations, and allow out-of-state gasoline to be transported and sold in California, delivering at least 10 to 20 cents a gallon of price relief, and perhaps much more.  Oh, that’s right: Obama wants higher gasoline prices, [and so does the MSM -- Ed] so don’t hold your breath.  (Note: After Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration waived the EPA’s boutique gasoline regulations to assure adequate supplies and stable prices while the Gulf Coast refineries got back up and running.)

Memo to GOP SuperPACs: why not place a few spots on TV in California telling people to “Call the White House: Tell President Obama to give us relief at the pump!”

Incidentally, just a reminder: