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ECONOMY

Gas prices today, September 16 in California by county: what’s the average price near me?

California is well known for its high gasoline prices and recently retook the mantle of the most expensive state to fill up your car.

Update:
Descubre cuál es el mejor y peor día de la semana para comprar gasolina en Estados Unidos. ¿Cuándo se encuentran los precios más bajos?
Mike BlakeREUTERS

Gas prices have been creeping up across the United States in the last two months. After recovering from the highs of a year ago, when the average national price broke over the five-dollar mark, the restriction of drilling by oil baron group OPEC has pushed prices up.

California is by far the most expensive state for gas. Since the beginning of the year the average price of a gallon of gas has been climbing steadily, now standing at $5.578 a gallon according to the AAA. This is nearly $2 higher than the national average of $3.871.

To find how much gas is in your county the AAA has a breakdown. Humboldt and Los Angeles are two of the most expensive with prices close to $6.

Why are California’s gas prices the highest in the US?

California imposes some of the highest state taxes on gasoline in the country. These taxes include both a state excise tax and a sales tax, which can significantly increase the price of gasoline at the pump.

Experts like Severin Borenstein, a professor at UC Berkeley, have noted that the decline in refining capacity in recent years does not explain the continued high prices. He has been arguing that oil companies can take advantage of “a less competitive gasoline market than the rest of the country,” which holds this status, at least in part, “because we use this cleaner-burning gasoline formulation that we can’t trade with the rest of the country, partially because two refiners in California control about half of the entire gasoline market.”

Those two refineries are Marathon Petroleum Corp and Chevron USA, which together can refine more than 875,000 barrels of oil a day.