California gas average tops $6 a gallon as U.S. prices rise

High gasoline prices at stations in Garden Grove, Calif., on Monday, March 7, 2022.

Jeff Grischen | Medianews Group | Getty Images

California’s state average for a gallon of gas has jumped above $6, making fuel in the most expensive Golden State in the US

The average pump price in California hit a record high of $6,021 a gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA. Prices are up 31 cents over the past month and $1.89 higher than a year ago.

California prices are the most extreme, but gas is rising across the country.

The national average hit a record high of $4,523 on Tuesday, with every state now averaging more than $4.

The sharp rise is partly due to a rise in oil prices, which accounts for more than half of the ultimate gas price.

“The high cost of petroleum, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a statement on Monday. .

“Even the yearly seasonal drop in gasoline demand during the lull between Spring Break and Memorial Day, which would normally help drive prices down, is having no effect this year,” he said. added.

But oil is not the only factor influencing gas prices, and the lack of refining capacity is also pushing prices up.

Refiners turn oil into petroleum products like the gas we use every day. Product demand is increasing as economic activity picks up, but refining capacity is below pre-pandemic levels, contributing to rapidly rising prices.

Retail diesel prices are also on the move, with the national gallon average hitting a record high of $5.573 on Tuesday. Prices were up $2.40 from last year.

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