California's skyrocketing gas prices can be driven by "possible market manipulation" by a handful of well-known dealers, according to a new government analysis.
In a memo for democratic government. gavin newsom, california energy commission said at the end of april the difference between the state gas prices and the national average increased by more than a dollar – "the highest increase ever seen." After accounting for the state's additional taxes and other program costs, the increase has varied between 17 cents and 34 cents per gallon since 2015.
The agency noted the price hike "roughly matching" with the period in 2015 when an explosion at Exxon Mobil's refinery in Torrance weakened production in State for more than a year. But the refinery has restored normal operation, suggesting that other factors fuel the price of fuel.
One possible explanation the Commission has identified is that some dealers take higher prices than others "mostly the same product." The Commission noted Chevron, Shell, Exxon, Mobil and 76 have doubled their prices compared to ARCO, unknown dealers and hypermart sites, which include stations affiliated with supermarkets or large store stores.
"Although this practice is not necessarily illegal, it may be an effort by a segment of the artificial inflated price market to the detriment of California consumers," the commission said in its report.
Agency officials said this type of Price increases would normally drive customers at lower prices. From 2010 to 2017, the Commission said the percentage of gasoline sold by Chevron, Shell and 76 stores fell by about 3 percentage points combined.
However, the Commission noted that the preliminary estimates are "imprecise". proposed to study the problem for the next five months and then presents the governor with a complete report.
Western States Petroleum Association President Catherine Reheis-Boyd said that many factors may explain why California gas prices are higher than the national average, including the state's mandate fuel mix requirements, Increasingly higher state taxes and regulations that include low carb onbrenselstandardprogrammet.
"This report provides further evidence of what market experts and government agencies have maintained for years: there are many factors affecting the movement in the price of gasoline and diesel, but the primary driver is the dynamics of the supply and demand of crude oil," Reheis-Boy d so.