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CA gasoline prices hit new high, and Jerry Brown orders emergency action

As Bay Area residents saw a two-to-five-cent overnight increase per gallon of regular gasoline, and California gas prices hit new records today, Governor Jerry Brown ordered the California Air Resources Board to take emergency action intended to boost production by 8-10%. The increase in supply is intended to tamp down on prices.

The change would allow refineries to change over from making summer-blend to winter-blend gasoline about four weeks earlier than the usual October 31 date. The governor said that the effect of the switchover would be negligible, even though the summer blend is better for air quality.

I blogged a few days ago about the sudden spike in Bay Area gas prices. I am still not convinced that the prices reflect supply-and-demand as much as they reflect politics.

Gasoline prices have increased as the result of reduced production, a power outage, and other factors have reduced supply. The gasoline shortage has raised prices to nearly $1 above the national average of $3.81 for a gallon of regular gasoline.

Drivers filling up Sunday with regular in San Francisco were paying $4.73; in San Jose $4.65; in Oakland $4.67 and Santa Cruz $4.61, according to AAA.

-Bill at

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