Gas Prices

Thursday, July 9, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.

There’s some new spin on a now expected rise in California gasoline prices. That’s even though the price of crude oil has taken a steep fall in the past week.

Yes, oil companies, whose price manipulation in the Golden State has went unchecked, appear hell-bent on keeping retail gasoline prices in the mid $3 per gallon range.

Here’s a link to a story published in the Los Angeles Daily News on Thursday.

The new scheme? Forget about manipulating prices by shuttering refineries. This time the plan is to purchase less, or in this case zero, gasoline from outside the region in order to maintain steady inventories.

The drop in gasoline inventory purportedly creates an artificial reason to jam price hikes of 10 to 30 cents per gallon down the throats of California driver’s. The new development appears to be an attempt to stop the state’s gasoline prices from sliding below $3 per gallon.

The new and improved reasoning is due to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released yesterday, which showed zero fuel imports into the West Coast, in the week prior.

Any spike in the per-gallon price of gas would be 100-percent profit for oil companies.

But the California Energy Commission Weekly Fuels Watch Report, for the week ending July 3, doesn’t quite paint that kind of story.

According to that report, refinery production is up 15.1% from a year ago, while refined gasoline inventory is up 0.4% from a year ago, and down only 3.8% from the prior week.

In other words there’s no gas shortage or real reason to jack prices higher, other than greed.

Gasbuddy.com has already bought into the newest talking points. We can expect Automobile Club and The Lundberg Survey to chime-in soon.

By the way. We’re still waiting for the last gasoline shortage to materialize.

You remember. The one that drove prices back to $4 per gallon last month!