California gas prices top $4 per gallon as national average begins to ease

Nationwide gas prices are stabilizing as the effects of the Saudi oil attack wear off, but the Golden State apparently hasn’t received the memo.

Gas prices in California shot up nearly 7.5 percent in the past week, surging past $4 per gallon for the first time since April. The national average, meanwhile, remains unchanged this week at $2.65 per gallon and has decreased slightly since the Sept. 14 strike on the Saudi oil facilities, according to AAA.

California relies more heavily on foreign oil than other states due to strict environmental laws, and local consumers’ wallets felt the brunt of the supply shock caused by the attack as a result.

Regulations have caused Golden State oil production to decrease, forcing some refineries to close. Several refineries that are currently in operation have required unplanned maintenance in recent weeks, exacerbating the supply problem.

West Coast gasoline supply dropped by 5 percent in the week after the attack, according to the Energy Information Administration’s report.

Additional import and out-of-state delivery orders have been made to curb the price hike, but tight supplies will continue to hurt the state’s 39 million residents.

Prices are expected to stabilize soon as the local refineries return to full production. But if California gas prices continue to increase at this rate, they could pass the $4.25 per gallon threshold – territory not seen since 2014 – as soon as this week.

Higher gas prices are the No. 1 deterrent against Americans driving, per the National Association of Convenience Stores.

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