Ahead of critical primaries on Tuesday, Californians are feeling the burden of high gas prices.
While Democrats were looking to California as a potential arena where some congressional races could deliver them a win, the state is ultimately struggling as residents feel the weight of surging prices and an economy headed in the wrong direction.
“They’re beyond furious — it’s called desperation,” Representative Lou Correa, a Democrat from Santa Ana, said. “I don’t hear anything about the other national issues we’re focusing on in Washington. The thing I hear about is gasoline. What are you going to do to bring down the gas prices?”
According to AAA, gas prices in California are currently averaging $6.34 per gallon, with the national average of regular gasoline at $4.86 across the country.
Yahoo Finance noted that if someone is filling up their vehicles in California with 16 gallons or more, they are shelling out more than $100 to do so.
“It’s terrible,” Lisa, a driver in California, told Yahoo Finance. “I can’t go visit my grandkids in Ventura County because of the gas prices, and then I work far away.”
The outlet pointed out that at a station in Mendocino, which is north of San Francisco, the cost was close to $10 a gallon.
Schlafer’s Auto Body & Repair, the Mendocino station, is regularly thought to be the priciest in the country.
The owner, Judy Schlafer, told SFGate.com that she recently got 8,880 gallons of gasoline, which needs to be paid in 10 days. She said the amount cost around $50,000, but said the same amount cost around $20,000 less three months ago. If she didn’t charge customers $9.60, she wouldn’t be able to keep running her business. She also claimed gas is just as pricey in other areas.
“I’m going to be lucky if I make the year with all the fees, the regulation, the payroll fees,” she said. “If it continues the way it is, Mendocino won’t have a gas station next year.”
Such price hikes are putting a damper on Democrats’ prospects in the state, The New York Times reported. The outlet pointed out, however, that gas costs in the Golden State are ordinarily higher than in any other state due to regulations and taxation. Still, the recent prices have been staggering even to residents who are used to higher costs.