While state legislators continue to fight over how best to help Californians struggling with inflation, gas prices hit a new historic high on Tuesday.
Motorists filling up on Tuesday paid an average of $6.13 per gallon. This new high is $0.03 higher than Monday’s prices, $0.09 higher than last week’s average, up $0.45 from last month and up $1.94 from last year’s average price per gallon.
“After several weeks of soaring gas prices, last week saw prices nationally slow down ahead of Memorial Day, but I'm afraid the good news ends there," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. "While gasoline demand has been seasonally soft, the large decline in refining capacity over the last few years has meant that refiners are struggling to produce even lower amounts of refined products. This has led inventories to struggle to see any gains, boosting concern that they won't be able to catch up. Coupled with continued talk that the EU is still working on sanctioning Russian oil, even though Hungary is a hold out, oil markets are quite on edge. As a result of the continued decline in gasoline inventories in recent weeks, wholesale gas prices surged last week, which will likely boost prices at the pump in short order.”
CHEAPEST GAS FOUND IN TURLOCK
*As of 7 p.m. Tuesday on GasBuddy.com
ARCO, 2219 Lander Ave. and 1801 Lander Ave.
ARCO, 2301 Fulkerth Rd.
ARCO, 2015 W. Main St. and 210 N. Golden State Blvd.
Quik Stop, 1260 Geer Rd.
Valero, 1202 Geer Rd.
Circle K, 1600 W. Main St.
California’s gasoline prices continue to be significantly higher than the nation’s average cost of a gallon of unleaded, which was $4.63 on Tuesday. The current gas tax is 51.1 cents per gallon, and is supposed to increase by around 3 cents per gallon when the increase kicks in on July 1.
Assembly Republicans have been trying to get relief for California motorists through AB 2457 (co-authored by Assemblyman Heath Flora), a bill that would have suspended the gas tax for one year, but have been voted down by the Democrat majority.
“Inflation is impacting everyone in California, but it is being felt the most by California's working class families. I opposed the original gas tax for the burden it put on working class folks back then. I support the current effort to suspend the gas tax, because it would provide real help to families against this record inflation right now. It would help small businesses across the state which are still reeling from shutdowns & a turbulent economy. This shouldn't be a partisan issue, it's just common sense,” Assemblyman Flora stated on his Facebook page about AB 2457.
A key disagreement in state budget negotiations is how to distribute billions of dollars in tax rebates meant to provide relief for rising prices because of inflation, including at the gas pump. Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a plan in March that would give a $400 rebate in the form of a debit card per registered vehicle owner, and up to $800 for drivers with more than one vehicle, while lawmakers want to direct it to taxpayers who make below a certain income.