California fuel costs: 4 charts clarify why they’re so excessive

There’s a lot of debate and heated rhetoric over California’s excessive fuel costs, however there are a handful of things most agree at the least contribute to the issue.

California is a excessive tax state, and that extends to the excise tax slapped on a gallon of fuel. The tax, which is adjusted yearly, pays for planning, establishing and sustaining roads and mass transit techniques.

In June, the tax rose from 51.1 cents to 53.9 cents per gallon, second solely to Pennsylvania. Republicans have referred to as to droop the tax or at the least not proceed indexing it to inflation, however the billions of {dollars} it generates for infrastructure is taken into account important.

The state is famously the smoggy automobile capital of the nation, too, which suggests refiners should produce a costlier model of cleaner-burning fuel throughout the hotter months.

There are estimates that the summer time mix may cost as a lot as 15 cents a gallon greater than the winter mix, which provides up when topping off however helps with issues like respiratory and combating local weather change.

However these two prices are constant and don’t produce the infuriating spikes that the oil business sometimes blames on refinery downtime as a consequence of both upkeep or repairs — however which critics allege are pretexts for elevating costs.

The state wouldn’t be topic to such woes, although, if not for one more undisputed truth: California is a fuel island with no main interstate pipelines, leaving it reliant totally on in-state manufacturing and extra pricey vehicles and tankers. On the identical time, the variety of refineries cranking out gasoline has dropped to 10 from virtually 50 just a few many years in the past.

Meaning when one refinery is down, anticipate to really feel the ache.