Gasoline prices in California have reached an average of $3 per gallon, a level not seen since Sept. 26, 2015. At $3 per gallon, California’s gas prices have risen nearly 40 cents per gallon in the last three months. Part of the blame can be placed on OPEC’s Nov. 30 decision to cut oil production, which boosted oil prices, while in the last three weeks California’s transition to CARB-mandated cleaner gasoline has added nearly 20 cents in a month. Southern California has begun the transition and will complete it by April 1, while areas of Central California will complete it by May 1 and areas of Northern California will complete it by June 1.
“With OPEC’s production cuts boosting oil prices and the typical seasonal factors pushing gas prices higher, California’s average gas price has hit $3 per gallon, and will likely continue moving higher. It’s likely average prices could rise another 20 to 40 cents per gallon over the next few months, making it the most painful spring and summer at the pump in years,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.