Gas prices in California have been slightly declining since drivers saw record-high prices in June and October.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in the Golden State is $5.475, which is 15 cents less than yesterday’s $5.490 average.
The current average is also 93 cents cheaper than a month ago when it was $6.412.
The declining prices trend can also be seen in the Los Angeles- Long Beach area. Prices at the pump in this region have dropped 96 cents from where they were a month ago. The current price average for residents in the area is $5.529.
While gas prices are declining in California, prices at the pump are almost $2 above the national average, which stands at $3.792 as of Friday afternoon.
So, why are California drivers paying more for gas?
Well, some California refineries were offline for scheduled, and in some cases unexpected, maintenance, which caused the already limited gasoline supply to dwindle even more.
To help with the high cost of gas, Gov. Gavin Newsom authorized the California Air Resources Board to release the winter blend of gasoline before its Oct. 31 scheduled rollout with hopes of increasing the inventory and lowering prices.
The winter blend gasoline is cheaper to produce than the summer blend, which could equate to cheaper gas prices.
Newsom has also blamed oil companies for “fleecing” California drivers, with gasoline prices rising disproportionately in the Golden State.
“The fact is, they’re ripping you off. Their record profits are coming at your expense,” Newsom said in a scathing video posted to Twitter. He also called for a new windfall tax on oil companies which would “ensure these profits go directly back to help millions of Californians who are paying for this oil company extortion.”
One oil company, Valero Energy Corp, responded to Newsom’s accusations blaming the state’s rigorous environmental regulations and high refinery operating costs on why prices at the pump are so disproportionately.
“California policies have made it difficult to increase refining capacity and have prevented supply projects to lower operating costs of refineries,” Valero said in a statement.
While gas prices in California are higher than the national average, more relief could be on the way.
Patrick De Haan, the head of Petroleum Analysis at Gas Buddy, predicted that prices should return to the low $5 range by the end of November.
The state also began sending out the Middle-Class Tax Refund on Oct. 7 to help offset record-high inflation and gas prices.
Eligible Californians can receive up to $1,050.
Drivers could also get cheaper gas prices sooner by signing up for rewards programs that offer deals on gasoline. Companies like Ralphs, Exxon Mobile, and Vons offer gasoline reward programs to their customers.
Apps like GasBuddy, Waze, or Google Maps can also help drivers find the cheapest gas in the area.