Look at California, It Just Has to Be Different

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009  |  Updated 7:50 AM PDT
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Look at California, It Just Has to Be Different

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MIAMI - SEPTEMBER 15: Gas is pumped into a vehicle September 15, 2008 in Miami, Florida. Gasoline prices rose nearly 5 cents a gallon Monday, bringing the total increase in the three days since Hurricane Ike slammed into Texas to almost 17 cents, according to a nationwide survey. The average price of unleaded regular rose 4.7 cents to $3.842 a gallon, according to the survey released by motorist group AAA. That followed increases of 5.8 cents Saturday and 6.2 cents Sunday, which was the biggest one-day spike since after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 . (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Motorists in the rest of the country are watching fuel prices fall.

So what's California's problem?

A national survey shows the average price of regular fuel dropped about 5 cents during the past three weeks. The nationwide average is $2.57 per gallon.

Prices in California have topped $3 per gallon for five consecutive weeks.

Like the guy who can't get past the nightclub's velvet rope, California is left outside while the rest of the country joins the fuel price party. A gallon of regular will cost you $3.15 in California. That's an increase of 5.4 cents over the last week.

Low production and tight supplies are two reasons behind California's unfortunate singling out, according to analysts.

"California is really disconnected from the rest of the country on this," Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service in New Jersey, told the LA Times. "Refineries have erred so much over the fear that they would be stuck with an oversupply of gasoline, like they were when prices caved last year, that the result is too little gasoline."

Kloza told the Times that California's refineries are short of full production.
 

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