LOS ANGELES – Gasoline in California costs an average of $ 4,676 per gallon. gallon Sunday, setting the state’s highest recorded average price for regular gasoline according to AAA.
America’s largest state by population has the highest gas prices in the country. The national average fell slightly to $ 3,413 on Sunday.
Gas prices in San Diego County, meanwhile, remained below the highest recorded average for the region. On October 8, 2012, it was $ 4,725. Sunday’s local average was $ 4,626 – the highest since 2012, but well below the record.
In the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area, the average gas price was $ 4,665 on Sunday – a few cents less than the highest recorded average of $ 4,705 set in October 2012.
At the national level, gas prices actually fell on average this week, although analysts note that prices remain quite high. According to experts at GasBuddyHigh prices can be attributed to a number of different factors.
As the world returns from the pandemic and gets moving again, an increase in the demand for crude oil has surpassed supply, which has driven prices up the barrel. That cost is then passed on to the customers at the pump.
The federal government has limited options to directly influence the price of gasoline for customers. President Joe Biden has called about OPEC – the governing body of 13 oil-producing countries that supply most of the world’s supplies – and Russia to “pump more oil” and balance supply for rising demand.
These nations have “increased production at a slower, ‘cautious’ pace instead of doing it on the schedule that Biden would like,” said Patrick De Haan, head of oil analysis at GasBuddy.
As a recent Poynter analysis highlights that the president could potentially take steps to increase production at home, even if it is contrary to his stated domestic environmental goals and his party’s. Across the hall, he meets criticism from Republicans which says he should increase U.S. production more.
Either way, U.S. producers may not necessarily increase production as quickly as OPEC can, even if they choose to, experts explain.
“Increasing domestic production is not a political decision. It’s a response from the private sector,” James H. Stock, a professor of political economy at Harvard University, told Poynter.
With all that taken into account, analysts do not expect a major change soon.
“With President Biden still considering options to help push gas prices down, we can continue to see some volatility in oil prices,” said GasBuddys De Haan. “I do not immediately see a big drop or increase in the time leading up to Thanksgiving, but US gasoline demand remains strong.”
De Haan added that so far there is no clear indication that the high prices significantly limit the amount of fuel people buy.
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