Gas prices remain high in California |

Gas prices remain high in California

In a word, it’s “crude.”

The cost of a barrel has kept prices at the pump high, the California Energy Commission reported Wednesday.

The state regulatory agency has been tracking the average for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gas in relation to crude prices. The average gas is now $2.56 in the state. A barrel of crude is going for $66.05 as of Monday, almost $23 more than last year’s price.

The commission points to a volatile market – which can rise on rumor, uprisings in Nigeria and Venezuela, some slowdown in Gulf Coast production from hurricane damage, and Iran’s threatened cuts in production as reasons for prices remaining high.

“All the increases we see at the pump are attributable to the cost of crude,” commission spokesman Rob Schlichting said.

In South Lake Tahoe, the average price is $2.74 – up 12 cents, according to AAA.

Upon releasing its latest survey Tuesday, the agency questioned why the prices have remained high in California in particular, despite ample supply.

Some believe the state is being penalized – possibly for having standards that are too strict. The national average is $2.29 a gallon – down 3 cents from last month. Every regional market in California surveyed reported a rise in prices.

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