Gas Prices Top $3 in Some California Cities

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Gasoline prices have wobbled recently but for the most part have risen. In several California cities, the trend has pushed the average price of a gallon of regular over $3, according to GasBuddy.

The average price of a gallon of gas in the United States is $2.39. That is up from $2.20 a year ago. For the most part, the increase has been driven by oil prices, although refinery repairs and the size of stockpiles have often contributed. The price of oil recently has fallen, from almost $54 a barrel mid-month to just under $50 recently. That does not mean gas prices will dip soon. The heavy summer driving season stars soon.

High gas prices in California are highlighted by those in its big cities. San Francisco has the highest average gas price of any city in the country at $3.20 per gallon of regular. In Los Angeles, the comparable price is $3.00. The other areas above the $3 mark include Orange County at $3.04. The county is just south of Los Angeles on the California coast. The average price of gas in Ventura Country is $3.01. It is just north of Los Angeles on the coast, close to Santa Barbara. The average price in San Diego is $3.00, the same as in the Oakland, Santa Barbara and San Jose.

What the cities have in common is that they are clustered around Los Angeles and San Francisco. California has the highest gas prices among all states, with a per-gallon average at $2.99.

One reason gas prices in California are so high is the gas tax. California’s gas tax is $0.572 a gallon, among the highest in the nation. The national average is $0.495.

Almost certainly, the price of gas in California will not back down much. Most experts believe oil will linger where it is, at least until there is a decision by OPEC or some other group to change supply, or there is a geopolitical event that does so.