Fuel Gas

Thursday, February 26, 2015 – 09:00 a.m.

California gas prices have continued skyrocketing. An unjustified climb that can be blamed on wholesalers and retailers, who are bilking consumers who don’t know any better.

Unleaded gas prices throughout the Inland Empire jumped and amazing 20 cents per gallon the past three days. Yes, I said 20 cents!

Retail prices are now a stunning 90 cents off the January lows.

As of Thursday morning, the price of West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil (WTI), for April delivery, was $49.33 per barrel. That’s an increase of $4.96 per barrel from the January low of $44.37.

That’s a gain of just 11.18%

But retail gas prices are a different story. The 90 cent per gallon climb is a move up of 41.10%. That’s a 30% differential!

All of this price action comes amidst an oil surplus glut. A glut so large that traders and producers have become worried about storage space.

According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), oil stockpiles have climbed about 46 million barrels over the past five weeks. The surplus is expected to grow even larger because production hasn’t yet slowed.

A Carson refinery fire and a switch to summer blend gas doesn’t come close to justifying this kind of premium on California gasoline.

But don’t expect government officials to ask any questions. They need the sales tax revenue from the higher price tag coming out of consumer pocketbooks.