When you hit the local gas pumps and see the price bouncing between $3.47 and $3.50 or so a gallon (at least that’s what they were running Oct. 5), you can be thankful for one thing: You don’t live in California.
On Oct. 5, the cost of a gallon of gas in the Golden State seemed to be approaching the price of actual gold with prices in the $4.50-$4.65 range in many places and some hitting $5, even $6, a gallon, according to reports.
While the rest of the nation was averaging about $3.79 a gallon — a record for this time of year — California was looking at eclipsing its summer 2008 mark of a whopping $4.61. Some are predicting the average in the state will hit as high as $4.85.
The Associated Press reported that the skyrocketing pump prices were caused by a combination of things: refinery and transmission problems combined with a pollution law that requires a special blend of cleaner-burning gasoline from April to October.
In any event, officials expect long lines at the pumps. Some stations are shutting down when they run out of fuel, waiting for the financial storm to pass. Otherwise, they’ll have tanks full of overpriced fuel when prices do decline.
Halloween’s still weeks away, but for many drivers, it’s already pretty darn scary.
— the Albany Herald