Summer is over but gasoline prices are heating up in California, prompting Governor Gavin Newsom to lift an anti-smog rule for relief at the pump.
(Bloomberg) — Summer is over but gasoline prices are heating up in California, prompting Governor Gavin Newsom to lift an anti-smog rule for relief at the pump.
Regular gasoline cost an average of $6.03 in California Wednesday, the highest since October and almost $2.20 a gallon above the national average, up from $1.20 in early August. That already was the highest level ever for this time of year, data from the American Automobile Association show.
The governor directed the state’s Air Resources Board to allow winter-grade gasoline earlier than usual, a move that could bring spot prices down by nearly $1.50 a gallon, according to Denton Cinquegrana, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service LLC. The flip side is winter-grade gasoline evaporates more readily in warmer weather, causing smog to get trapped in valleys. Lower air quality is the price consumers are paying to keep inflation in check.
Pump prices have risen across the country due to the increasing cost of oil. California typically has the highest-priced gasoline than the rest of the country, in part because of higher costs of environmental compliance, including carbon credits. The state’s carbon credits have hovered around 30 cents a gallon in recent weeks, according to data from Opis and Argus Media Ltd., some of the highest ever in the history of the program designed to spur a move away from fossil fuels.
–With assistance from David R. Baker.
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