As Californians pumped gas into their cars this week, they winced at the skyrocketing price of gasoline, but they mostly shrugged their shoulders because they live in the state with the highest gas prices in the country.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), California drivers are paying an average of more than $5 a gallon ($1.34 per liter), an increase of more than a third from a year ago, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives world oil prices soaring.
In an interview with AFP, Mike Hernandez stated that “it will have an impact on the costs.”
The fact that this conflict between Russia and Ukraine is taking place makes me sad. “I’m not really into politics or anything like that, but it’s just that terrible.”
The invasion of neighboring Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin has thrown the world’s financial markets into disarray.
Crude oil prices, which serve as the raw material for gasoline, have taken a significant hit, rising well above $110 a barrel, as investors worry about the impact of sanctions on Russian supplies as Moscow is cut off from the rest of the world’s economy.
However, even though all countries have access to the same gasoline, subsidies or taxes imposed at the local level result in a wide range of final costs for consumers.
For example, in Nigeria, which produces oil and subsidizes fuel, the official price of a liter of gasoline is 40 US cents.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, drivers in Hong Kong were already paying US$2.50 per liter in 2021, and this figure was expected to rise.
According to AAA, on average, Americans pay around $1 per liter of gasoline, and even California’s $1.34 per liter is significantly less than the prices paid by Europeans.
In Los Angeles, Harry Lee stopped for gas on his way to work on Friday morning. “It’s expensive, but it’s always been more expensive here in California, so I guess we’re used to it,” he said as he fueled up on his way to work.
“I’ll be happy when it goes down, but so far it hasn’t had a significant impact on my life,” he continued.
“However, my cousin, who works as an Uber driver in Los Angeles, is constantly complaining. I imagine it would be difficult for him if the gas level remained at this level for an extended period of time.”
Because of state taxes and stricter refining regulations, California’s gas prices are relatively high during the summer months. These regulations require specific fuel formulae in order to reduce air pollution during the state’s hot summer months.
While many drivers have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that gas prices have risen almost on a daily basis, others have stated that they are willing to accept the higher prices because of the images of the war in Ukraine that they are seeing on the news.
In Los Angeles, Jacqueline St-Anne expressed her preference for high gas prices over an authoritarian regime in Ukraine. “I would rather have high gas prices here than an authoritarian regime in Ukraine,” she said.
If that means enduring a little inflation and higher gas prices for a while in order to ensure that such a magnificent country as Ukraine has the opportunity to build its democracy, then we should do so.
Others, on the other hand, can avoid paying through the nose by following a simple procedure.
“I recently purchased a Tesla,” Matthew Reynl explained.
“That’s my solution to the rising cost of gasoline,” says the author.