Gasoline prices dropped in 48 states over the last month, but Californians once again are spending more at the pump than in any other state, according to a AAA monthly report released Tuesday.
Fresno consumers are paying $2.64 per gallon for unleaded regular gasoline – below the state average but still well above national numbers. This represents a 5-cent increase from last month’s numbers. The overall average price per gallon is $1.96 nationwide and $2.85 in California.
AAA Northern California spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said maintenance operations in the state’s many oil refineries contributed to California prices, which rose 17 cents overall since Dec. 8.
“Some refineries have had to shut down temporarily for emergency fixes, and all of them close down once in a while for planned maintenance,” Harris said. “This is causing a lot of unpredictability in our gas prices.”
68 centsThe difference between Fresno’s average gas price of $2.64 and the national average of $1.96.
Harris said California is always among the top three in average gas price, with the top spot often flip-flopping between Hawaii and the Golden State. She expects prices to drop over the next month, barring unforeseen circumstances.
The trend is particularly strange, Harris said, because crude oil prices have been dropping steadily throughout the world. This has led to lower prices virtually everywhere outside California.
Elsewhere in the central San Joaquin Valley, the average price in the Tulare/Porterville/Visalia and Merced areas rose slightly from $2.57 per gallon to $2.61. Daily gas price reports can be found on the AAA website.
The highest prices in California were found in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area, where residents paid an average of $3.03 per gallon.