California gas prices reached yet another record Monday and unfortunately for drivers, there doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight
The statewide average hit $4.74 for a gallon of regular unleaded on President’s Day. Los Angeles, Orange County and San Bernardino also hit their all-time highs Monday, with pump prices averaging $4.79, $4.76 and $4.73 respectively, according to AAA data.
California continues to have the highest gas prices in the U.S., well above the nationwide average of $3.53.
Why California gas is so expensive (and it’s not just taxes)
All this is coming at a time when drivers normally pay less to fill up their tanks. Typically, demand for gas decreases during winter, something that puts downward pressure on fuel costs, according to the Auto Club. But crude oil prices remain elevated, which is pushing gasoline costs higher.
“The number one reason why we’re seeing these pump prices is the geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine. That’s putting upward pressure on the crude oil prices, AAA spokesperson Doug Shupe explained. “Also, as many parts of the country start warming up, the demand for fuel is increasing as people start to head out and take those road trips.”
On top of that, local refineries have been shifting away from producing the cheaper winter blend gasoline as we head toward the warmer months of spring.