Posted by Citizen, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm
Don't bother, Feinstein. The Federal Trade Commission will not find any malicious activity. The real problem is California voters. Remember all those "Earth Friendly" propositions you voted for in the past? That is causing the higher prices in California! Not the gas companies or station owners. Think about what you vote for in the future and what impact it will have long term. Like the current situation in the White House and Congress!
Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Oct 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm liberalism is a disease is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
John, you and citizen are partially correct about our gas prices being high (temporary or not), but you can read all about the contributing factors below:
California has higher fuel taxes than neighboring states, currently 68 cents per gallon vs. 33 cents in Nevada and 19 cents in Arizona. This explains most of the difference. California's tax per gallon also varies because it has a percentage-based tax unlike most states, in addition to the flat per-gallon tax (2.25% state + 1.25%+ local depending on county). Thus when prices rise, so do taxes per gallon in California. The structure of the tax was actually recently changed in 2010 during the budget crisis, when it used to be a lower flat rate and a 8.25% variable rate.
California also requires a special blend of gasoline only used by us to reduce air pollution that a limited number of refineries produce, which increases costs by about 5-15 cents per gallon. There are only 12 gasoline refineries in the state. This also leads to greater price volatility because a refinery shutdown will disrupt the supply a lot more than for the other states who have more options in where to buy gas.
Finally, there are the costs of operating for gas stations: Land values are higher in California compared to Arizona or Nevada, and building a gas station in SF requires about the same amount of land as in Phoenix, but you can bet leasing the land is many times more expensive. California's state minimum wage is $8.00, similar to AZ/NV but in some areas it is higher (like $10.24 in SF), making station employees more expensive. Also I'm willing to guess that anti-smog and groundwater pollution requirements make compliance more expsenive than in laxer states. Random stuff like water for washes even costs more, since hey, we don't exactly have much water left either.
One question: If our gas formulation is so critical to our survival in this state, why is it OK for Brown to now circumvent the expensive custom formula that the enviros fought so hard to impose on us? Where's all the greenies and why aren't they in a snit? Imagine if Arnold had done this...the whining by leftists would have been deafening.