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That’s because, for the first time since July 2015, the average price for a gallon of gas in the Golden State pushed past $4
So what’s causing the price spike?
You may already know that the primary reason gas tends to be more expensive in California is the state’s stringent gasoline standards, which require a cleaner fuel blend that only a few refineries outside the state can produce.
So when work is stopped at any of the 10 major refineries within California, it can make a significant dent in the supply of gas, which causes prices to rise.
And that, Mr. McTeague said, is exactly what’s been happening.
According to a report by the Oil Price Information Service, six of those 10 major refineries have had work disruptions — like a fire at a Phillips 66 refinery in Carson on March 15 — or planned maintenance that has taken them offline.
Mr. McTeague said that those, coupled with a problem at an Air Products hydrogen plant, added up to an abnormal run.
“You might have one, you might have two,” he said of unplanned disruptions. “You don’t have five or six.”
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Plus, he said, the timing is just bad: Refineries are switching to summer gas blend production, which can take facilities temporarily offline.