May this episode serve as a case lesson for big government types everywhere.

California wholesale gasoline prices eased as much as 12 percent Monday after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the state’s Air Resource Board to permit refineries to sell winter-blend supplies.

Prices for summer blend gas had soared well above $4.09 a gallon at wholesale and above $5 at retail stations due to problems at three refineries that process summer-blend gas, which emit fewer pollutants than winter-blend.

Shifting California to winter-blend also could lead to greater supply from out-of-state refiners, said Stanley Young, a representative for the Air Resource Board. The increase in supply could lead to a drop of as much as 50 cents a gallon at the pump very quickly.