If there is any place Americans are bearing the brunt of inflation, it is at the gas pump. Gas prices are hitting the roof all over the country, but the situation in California is particularly worrisome.
A gallon of gas now sells for an average price of $6.08 in the Golden State, 55% higher than the national average of $3.83. In Los Angeles, a gallon costs as high as $7.00, and residents are getting frustrated.
One TikTok video showed a Los Angeles resident venting over the excruciatingly high prices. “LA is actually insane & evil tell me [why] do I choose to live here?” read the on-screen caption.
The TikTok user was at a Mobil gas station in Los Angeles where a gallon of regular gasoline sold at $7.39. “How is anybody supposed to live when gas is that much?” the user queried.
The video, which has since garnered over 800,000 views, is just one of the many examples of the hardship Americans have to cope with. The feelings are the same on X (formerly Twitter). Political influencer @DC_Draino posted the same video on his page with a caption that blamed Joe Biden for the soaring cost of gas.
The caption read, “The *average* gas price has hit $5.92 in Los Angeles w/some stations well over $7 per gallon.” “Biden drained our Strategic Petroleum Reserves to unprecedented levels to artificially suppress high gas prices as long as he could. Now the real prices are here,” the caption continued.
In another post, he also gave some stick to California Governor Gavin Newsom. The post, which was a picture of gas prices at a Los Angeles gas station, had a caption that began with a quote from Newsom “‘We have the highest paid fast food workers!’” “Yeah and they need to work an entire day just to fill their gas tank (pre-tax) California has become an economic wasteland,” Draino continued.
“What’s going on here” is a popular question Americans are asking. Timothy Fitzgerald, a Texas Tech University professor of business economics, has offered some explanation. “The fuel delivery system in California is running right up against its limits all the time,” he said. “Even fairly small disruptions can lead to price spikes,” he continued.
Patrick de Haan, the Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, shares the same opinion. He believes that weather-related damage or maintenance has aggravated the shortage in supply in 4 out of the 14 California refineries.
In the midst of the supply challenges, Gavin Newsom has maintained the highly restrictive gas tax he imposed on gas. California Republicans have recently called on the governor to relax the tax, which is presently the highest in the country.
Also, experts have traced the spike to a decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) led by Russia and Saudi Arabia to trim oil output by 1% representing 1.2 million barrels per day.
A Newsweek article provided yet another reason for the gas price hike. “The increase in prices is partially attributed to high temperatures during the summer which interrupted production at some facilities.”
But many Americans don’t care about theories and explanations. All they want is for gas prices to recover their previous friendliness.