High gas prices remain unexplained across state

Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling on the state attorney general to investigate big oil companies and find out why Californians are paying a much higher price per gallon compared to the average of any other state. 

People are concerned with California’s soaring gas prices, saying it is unfair that people living in the state pay more per gallon than any other state. The average in Sacramento county is $4.03, according to GasBuddy.

  The California Energy Commission released a report in October highlighting the higher prices in the state with no real explanation, concluding that Californians are being charged more per gallon for the same oil product that other states are receiving. 

The report found that drivers paid almost 30 cents more per gallon in 2018 than out of state, and up to a dollar more on average as of April this year, according to the commission’s report.

“I think it’s outrageous,” said 18-year-old psychology major Danielle Rebensdorf. “I don’t like them at all because I’m in school and I have to pay for my own gas, and it’s tough. I have other things to buy too.” 

Andy Nguyen, a 20-year-old film studies major, said he can see why gas prices are higher in California than anywhere else and thinks the high prices are justified.

“California’s population is just massive compared to other states, and the advancement of technology and development in California is so much larger than anywhere else,” Nguyen said. 

 Dimitri Moua, a 20-year-old biology major, said the prices are way too high but can also understand why they would be higher in our state.

“I think it’s ridiculous that California has to pay a significantly higher amount per gallon than other states do,” Moua said. “I guess if you do argue the economic side of it, the fact that we’re a much more populous state and typically we’re just higher in the standard of living, to some degree, it does make sense, but it does suck that we have to pay up to a dollar more.” 

Jacqueline Velazquez, a 19-year-old psychology major, said with gas prices so high, an investigation is worth it, even if they don’t find anything.

“I think it’s not really that fair if we’re paying a dollar more, and if other people are paying less than us we should at least get a reason why we’re paying more,” said Henry Pham, a 22-year-old chemistry major. “It just doesn’t make any sense.” 

Big oil companies such as Shell, 76 and Chevron said their gas costs more because it is of better quality, but the California Energy Commission’s analysis could not find any evidence to support that, concluding their report by saying “the primary cause of the residual price increase is simply that California’s retail gasoline outlets are charging higher prices than those in other states.” 

Name-brand gas retailers offered no response to the California Energy Commission’s request for additional information.