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Governor's Order on Gas Intended to Cut Prices at the Pump

Gov. Jerry Brown ordered on Sunday to allow the sale of heavier winter-blend gasoline at the pumps. In a normal year, winter-blend gas is not allowed to be sold until Oct. 31.

Governor Jerry Brown today ordered California smog regulators to allow winter-blend gasoline to be sold in California this month, a move intended to reverse a sudden scare in the wholesale gasoline market that saw prices shoot up nearly 50 cents a gallon in six days.

The governor ordered the California Air Resources Board to allow
refiners and gas stations to roll out the winter blend before its previously-
scheduled Oct. 31 sales date, an action the governor said will increase gas
supplies up to 8-10 percent, "with only negligible air quality impacts.''

In a letter released at noon, as California gas prices fluctuated widely
for the seventh straight day, the governor said the market variations were
imposing "unacceptable cost impacts on consumers and small businesses.''

This, he said, was threatening "significant economic disruption, and serious harm to public safety and welfare.''

An analyst said California's wholesale gasoline market has gone "into a
panic about the adequacy of California fuel supplies'' Jeffrey Spring of the
Automobile Club of Southern California said the market disruption followed a
power failure at the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery and closure of a Chevron
pipeline that moves crude oil to Northern California last Monday.

Other pressure on the state's gas market includes local refineries dropping production levels, energy companies exporting fuel to Mexico and other countries, and allowing inventory to dwindle in anticipation of switching over
to production of winter blend gasoline, Spring said.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose to a record $4.661 Saturday, increasing 12.2 cents from Friday. In Orange County, it settled at one penny lower than LA. 

"I am directing the Air Resources Board immediately to take whatever steps are necessary to allow for an early  transition to winter-blend gasoline'' to be sold in California, the governor said in a letter to Mary Nichols, his appointed head of the CARB.

Some clean air advocates had worried that such a move would hurt air quality in October, which is one of the hottest months in coastal California due to Santa Ana windstorms and other seasonal weather fluctuations.

The governor said today that winter gas evaporates more quickly than summer blend, which takes longer to evaporate and is better during the smoggiest months of the year in the summer.

Brown said he expected gas prices to settle down, now that the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance has resumed operations following an electricity outage last week.

A Tesoro refinery in the South Bay is expected to resume production next week, after its maintenance shutdown.

Peter October 08, 2012 at 04:05 AM
This is a good move which will alleviate the fundamental, immediate supply problem. Winter blend gas has already began production and now that they can release those reserves we should see some relief at the pump hopefully as soon as next weekend. I commute daily from here to San Diego, so any relief is greatly needed.
Robert Corona October 08, 2012 at 04:09 AM
All these excuses for higher gas prices are lies! They are squeezing us before the Holiday season and before the weather gets bad. People don't drive as much when it rains and gets cold. We are just being squeezed folks...and there isn't a thing we can do about it. There is not a thing Bown can do about it.. oil runs this country. And of course we love to drive one person in one car. Noone anywhere has suggested car pooling!!! So guess we gotta pay the piper!
Holly Hale October 08, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Moonbeam..........humph.
Michael October 08, 2012 at 05:06 AM
CA gov. CREATED this problem. The Democrats haven't allowed a refinery to be built for 35 years. Plus, CA Democrats invented this nonsensical scheme of "winter" gas to drive the price up to get you to "carpool", get you to stop buying SUVs, and increase sales tax revenue. To placate the ignorant Democrat voter, Feinstein wants an FTC "investigation" that will find nothing, yet satisfy them. AB32 will make gas $9.00 per gallon. Okay Democrats, start figuring out how to blame Bush for this one. http://forums.redfin.com/t5/Inland-Empire/Why-will-AB32-increase-gasoline-price-to-over-9-gallon-affects/td-p/141464
Raven October 08, 2012 at 05:11 AM
This is a result of our draconian air standards keeping California dependent on a handful of small / old refineries. I say we dump the different "blends" and use the same gas neighboring states use so there will be plenty of supply to meet the demand and keep us from getting squeezed. I have a hard time believing with the complex smog standards on pur cars that these "blends" make that much of a difference in air quality anyways.
Michael October 08, 2012 at 05:40 AM
You are correct, CA surpassed EPA clean air standards but the Democrat Legislature keeps the draconian rules for social engineering reasons. Oh, we have the highest taxes on a gallon too. You will feel better about the price of gas today before it goes to $9.00 because of the CA government and AB32. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/on-energy/2012/05/16/californias-high-gas-prices-are-self-inflicted
Revvell October 08, 2012 at 01:05 PM
There is already enough to meet the demands. You know why gas prices go up? Because they can. You know why they come down? Because they can. It's all a game folks. They're playing us.
Robert Corona October 08, 2012 at 02:14 PM
You 3 gents above me make fine and valid points... demos have blocked much much drilling and exploration.... and YES we are too environment happy... so we have to pay. And there IS plenty of gasoling.. why CA the only state paying this? we are the laughing stock of the nation...Ca residents are always getting screwed.
Andy Krinock October 08, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Thank all the tree huggers, don't drill here, and especially the current leaders who truly believe they can control what you breathe, eat and enjoy. Eventually they will bankrupt the state and we can start over and rebuild this once great state.
Betty Jean October 08, 2012 at 04:49 PM
LA drivers need to change their ways. Stop driving and walk to the store, walk your kids to school, and take mass transportation. Little changes make a big difference and if gas prices go down just stick with the plan. I did last year and have lost over 20lbs and save a lot on money.
Michael October 08, 2012 at 05:02 PM
No thank you- I wish you would change your ways and stop voting for the CA Democrats that CAUSED this problem. It's only happening HERE. I am not content with living a third-world lifestyle as you are. Gas prices affect the price of EVERYTHING you buy, what's your answer to this- grow my own corn and rice?
Betty Jean October 08, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Yes, I realize that Michael but cutting back on oil isn't a bad thing. And Dems didn't cause this.
Citzen October 08, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Michael W Do you have actual numbers and not an opinion piece to make such claims? Do you know the actual numbers? What are the standards California requires? What are the standards that EPA requires
Holly Hale October 08, 2012 at 05:55 PM
There's oil out there and the Keystone pipeline was vetoed. It's ridiculous. And to make matters worse, who, in this economy can afford to even buy a new car? Let alone a "hybrid". I have doubts about the lithium battery disposal, too. Hmmm.
Holly Hale October 08, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Those of us who are underemployed or are unemployed looking for work, simply cannot drive to interviews with the prices so outrageous. There never seems to be interviews along the Gold Line (or other trains) when you wish there were, right?
Holly Hale October 08, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Robert, CA has to make the extra tax $$$ off the gas (and everything else) so we can continue to pay for benefits for those who do not contribute to our tax base. We provide education, medical care, and $$ to those. Granted, there are a lot of folks out there who are sick and needy help, but there are plenty who are working the system and really have not earned the privilege. Yet, another reason for immigration reform.
Julia Nelson October 08, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I'd love to take public transportation to work. I have a 40-minute drive each way. I looked into it. Over an hour on the train, then 2 hours from the train station to my workplace. That's 6 hours of commuting, plus 9 hours at work. You're screwed if you aren't going into downtown L.A.
Holly Hale October 08, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Yes, Michael, gas prices do impact everything else. In fact, the number of products made from oil are unbelievable. Even the ink in your pen! Heck, the pen! Trucking companies have to pay it and transporting the food to us goes up and the food goes up with it. Look at something as simple as peanut butter. I remember buying a giant tub of Skippy for about $4.50 and now the same tub is nearly $10. Humph!
Ron Ynz October 08, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Hard Numbers are here. http://www.californiagasprices.com/tax_info.aspx California Charges 50.5 cents per gallon in taxes. This money is supposed to go to fixing the roads but is raided and used in the States' general fund. Why do you think the gas is so much cheaper in Arizona and Nevada? Because they have less tax there. It helps pay the guaranteed benefit distribution for state union employees. The have GUARANTEED PAYOUTS instead of guaranteed contributions like the rest of the world.
Citzen October 08, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Let me clarify The statement I wish numbers for is "CA surpassed EPA clean air standards"
Michael October 08, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Citizen- have you read the links I posted for the "actual numbers"???
Citzen October 08, 2012 at 10:47 PM
No I did not read the links of the opinion piece. I know where to find the info if I want to do you?
Michael October 08, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Of course you didn't, I've never met a Democrat that was interested in finding out the truth about this issue- why would you be any different. Why don't you tell us what the tax is on a gallon in CA and where the money goes? The number is in the links above. It's a lot easier to be be ignorant and say "It's Bush/Reagan/Nixon's fault" when challenged, isn't it. Enjoy those gas prices, you caused them.
Citzen October 08, 2012 at 11:23 PM
You are making a lot of assumptions here where did I say anything about the price of gas or my political affiliations. I never said it was Bush/Reagan or Nixon's fault either. I question the data for this "CA surpassed EPA clean air standards" statement. I am not suppose to question the data for statements made? Just follow the sheep right? You have no idea what I think.
Citzen October 08, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Our Winter fuel is federal summertime fuel. We will be able to buy it from many sources now.
Dan Crandell October 09, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Kind of off subject but I couldn't find anywhere else to comment. We just received 2012 property tax Bill in the mail. We gota get out of THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC of CALIFORNIA. Work your entire life and in retirement years the thugs steel our financial security and tell us we didn't earn it. When Prob 13 is killed and the city of Monrovia settles that 206 million dollar law suit no one will afford to live here.
Betty Jean October 09, 2012 at 12:13 AM
That's exactly what Mike wants you to do, Citizen. Shut up and don't ask questions. And while you're at it get back in line! Funny stuff.
David Chess October 09, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Once again your facts are COMPLETLY WRONG. I don't understand why you and many of your right wing crowd can't tell lthe truth. Anyone interested should check out the facts: Listed are the completion and operational dates of every refinery back to 1968. http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=29&t=6
Michael October 09, 2012 at 01:52 AM
DC, yes the last refinery in CA was built in 1979. That was 33 years ago- you sure showed me. I'm sure the population of people and cars has stayed the same during that time, so demand is the same. CA CANNOT share gas from any other State because of "reformulated Fuel" passed in '96. Why would you list refineries in other states, that has NOTHING to do with our supply. Which one is it: you were just ignorant of this, or are you not telling the truth?
Marvion October 09, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Lolz, winter blend: 3 cups rum, ¼ cup lime juice, 12 oz ginger ale.. █► ◄█ ◄█ █► █► ◄█ ◄█ █►

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