News and Commentary

California Gas Prices Continue To Hit New Records
California Governor Gavin Newsom attends California Governor Gavin Newsom's press conference for the official reopening of the state of California at Universal Studios Hollywood on June 15, 2021 in Universal City, California.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Gas prices continue to rise in California, exceeding costs last witnessed nearly a decade ago.

At the end of October, the Daily Wire reported that average gas prices in California reached $4.59 per gallon — a drastic increase from $3.18 seen at the same time last year. In the span of three weeks, however, prices have again risen to $4.68. 

CNN Business commented:

Monday’s price for regular unleaded was six-tenths of a cent higher than the Sunday average reported by AAA, which broke the all-time record of $4.671 previously set in October 2012. America’s largest state by population has the highest gas prices in the country…

Prices are pushing $5 in some areas, including Northern California’s Humboldt County, where the average price was $4.97 Monday. The Bay Area has surged to more than $4.85. Doug Shupe, a spokesperson for AAA, said that although Californians are used to paying more for gas, the price has been much higher lately.

Rising gas prices — which are contributing to President Biden’s diminishing approval ratings — prompted eleven Senate Democrats to urge executive action.

“In our home states, high gasoline prices have placed an undue burden on families and small businesses trying to make ends meet, and have proven especially burdensome as our constituents continue to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote the lawmakers. 

“In light of these pressing concerns, we ask that you consider all tools available at your disposal to lower U.S. gasoline prices. This includes a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a ban on crude oil exports. We hope you will consider these tools and others to make gasoline more affordable for all Americans.”

Despite concern within the ranks of his own party, President Biden is reportedly considering a shutdown of an oil pipeline in Michigan.

“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”

Last month, President Biden said during a CNN town hall event that he did not have a “near-term answer” for dealing with fuel costs.

“My guess is you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get by — going into the winter — I mean, excuse me, into next year, in 2022,” Biden said. “I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices.”

“I must tell you, I don’t have a near-term answer,” Biden later added. “There’s two things I could do: I could go in the petroleum reserve and take out and probably reluce [sic] — reduce the price of gas maybe 18 cents or so a gallon. It’s still going to be above three bucks. And one of the things that I refuse to have happen, because I didn’t want anybody — I made a commitment: If you pass the stuff I’m talking about, not — not one single penny in tax would go against anybody making less than 400 grand.”

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