California’s Gas Prices Show No Signs of Dropping

California motorists will need to brace themselves –  gas prices are predicted to climb again in the coming months, as summer nears and geopolitical tensions increase.

Gas Troubles

Image Credit: Shutterstock / aappp

Despite gas prices soaring in California in the last month alone, motorists in the Golden State and throughout the country may be hit with more price increases in the coming months.

Californians Struggle With Prices

Image Credit: Shutterstock / n_defender

While the cost of gas has become a pain point for individuals and families across the US, it is a particularly sensitive subject for Californians, who currently pay more for gas than any other state, according to data from the American Automobile Association.

Far Above the National Average

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Africa Studio

With an average price of $5.43 per gallon as of Wednesday, Californians are paying $1.64 more per gallon than the national average. 

March Madness

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Golden Dayz

While gas prices have been on the rise across the world since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war in early 2022, the last month has been a particular cause for alarm.

6.5% Increases in One Month

Image Credit: Shutterstock /

Americans saw average gas prices shoot up by 6.5% in the last month alone. And those price increases are expected to continue.

Major Drivers

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

This is due to both the changing of the seasons from winter to spring and summer, and to increasing international tensions involving global powers like Russia and Iran. 

Changing of the Seasons

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PV productions

First, seasonal changes: typically gas prices increase across the nation between February and March each year, which explains why drivers experienced such a significant increase last month. Particularly California, which saw prices rise by 47 cents per gallon in a single month.

Making the Switch

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

“Gas prices move higher in the spring and summer every year. The nation makes the switch from cheaper winter blend gas to summer starting in March and April,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross.

More Driving, More Demand

Image Credit: Shutterstock / oneinchpunch

“The better weather and longer days usually lead to more driving, pushing demand up,” Gross further explained.

More Noticeable Than Ever

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Fahroni

In the past, these prices may not have been as concerning for drivers. But paired with price increases across the board, it makes an enormous difference for the average American, especially when recent years have seen the spring/summer increase go as high as 71 cents per gallon.

Geopolitical Concerns

Image Credit: Shutterstock / vchal

But geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and Europe may be set to drive those prices even higher. 

Tension Reflected in Global Markets

Image Credit: Shutterstock / E.Kryzhanivskyi

In particular, the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war and escalating tensions between Iran and Israel will likely be reflected in global markets, causing gas prices to either increase or remain stagnant, where they might otherwise have lowered.

Political Risks Go Up

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Juice Flair

Prices “should normally go down but we see geopolitical risks going up at times,” said Gokce Soydemi, business economics professor at California State University. 

Higher Tensions, Higher Prices

Image Credit: Shutterstock / FXQuadro

“With potential involvement of other countries in the Middle East and Ukraine regional conflicts[…] this gets reflected in terms of higher prices at the gas pump.” he continued. 

Middle East Tension Causes 20% Increase

Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin

While the war between Russia and Ukraine was initially the biggest driver behind soaring gas prices, tension in the Middle East has driven up US oil prices by 20% in the last year.

More Elements Involved

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kim Britten

Other elements have also had a compounded effect on gas prices in California, and may continue to cause gas increases regardless of international market issues. 

Refinery Maintenance

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Aleksandar Malivuk

Another major issue is “planned and unplanned refinery maintenance [that] has caused supply issues” according to a spokesperson for the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Finding Substitute Suppliers

Image Credit: Shutterstock / pan demin

A Washington state refinery has planned maintenance that is likely to last for several weeks. As a major supplier for Southern California, it will take some time to find substitute suppliers that provide the unique type of emissions-reducing gasoline blend that California drivers require.

Several Weeks of Delays

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Aerial-motion

Refinery shutdowns mean that “replacement supplies of (California gasoline) come in by marine tanker from out-of-state U.S. refineries or from other countries. It can take several weeks to find and bring replacement motor gasoline from overseas that meets California’s unique specifications,” according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

Won’t Reach Record Highs

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

Thankfully, current gas prices in California are nowhere near the record-high $6.44 per gallon that the state saw in June 2022. Experts believe that there is no indication it will reach that price again this year.

21 States Where Squatters Can Legally Claim Your Property

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Luciano Mortula – LGM

Discover how squatters’ rights, or adverse possession, are more than just legal jargon—they’re stories of unexpected twists in the world of real estate. From sunny California to the historical landscapes of Pennsylvania, here’s how these laws could turn the tables on homeowners and squatters alike. 21 States Where Squatters Can Legally Claim Your Property

14 Things That Are Banned in the U.S. but Totally Fine Elsewhere

Image Credit: Pexels / Ekaterina Belinskaya

Ever feel like America’s rulebook was written by someone with a dartboard? Across the pond or down under, things get even wackier. Let’s take a walk on the wild side of global “Do’s” that are definite “Don’ts” in the Land of the Free. 14 Things That Are Banned in the U.S. but Totally Fine Elsewhere

25 American States Nobody Wants to Visit Anymore

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

Across the United States, some states capture the hearts and itineraries of many, while others remain quietly on the sidelines, overshadowed or misunderstood. These 25 states, facing what you might call a popularity crisis, are brimming with hidden wonders, cultural riches, and natural beauty, awaiting those willing to look beyond the usual tourist trails. 25 American States Nobody Wants to Visit Anymore

20 Foods That Are Cheaper to Eat Out Than Making at Home

Image Credit: Shutterstock / LTime

In a world where convenience often wins, certain culinary delights come with a lower price tag when enjoyed at a restaurant rather than crafted in your own kitchen. Here are twenty foods that might save you both time and money when indulged in at your favorite eatery. 20 Foods That Are Cheaper to Eat out Than Making at Home

17 Things You’re Paying For, but You Don’t Have To

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anja Ivanovic

In the land of the free, there’s a price tag on everything, but savvy Americans know better than to open their wallets for just anything. Here are 17 expenses you’ve been shelling out for without realizing there’s a cheaper or even free alternative. 17 Things You’re Paying For, but You Don’t Have To

The post California’s Gas Prices Show No Signs of Dropping first appeared on From Frugal to Free.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / ALPA PROD.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)