The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Southern California dropped under $5 Dec. 1 for the first time since early March, offering some respite for drivers during the holiday season.
The Los Angeles County average price decreased for 21 consecutive days—falling to $4.972—since rising to a record of $6.494 on Oct. 5, according to figures from the AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
The average price is 62.8 cents lower than a month ago, but 26.6 cents higher than one year ago.
The Orange County average price dropped for the 20th consecutive day to $4.853—its lowest amount since Feb. 26. It had decreased 54 times since rising to a record of $6.357 on Oct. 5.
The average price is 62.1 cents lower than a month ago, but 17.5 cents higher than one year ago.
The San Diego County average price dropped for the 20th consecutive day to $4.94—its lowest amount since March 2. It has decreased 53 times since rising to a record of $6.435 on Oct. 5.
The average price is 63.1 cents lower than a month ago, but 28.1 cents higher than one year ago.
The national average price has decreased for 22 consecutive days to $3.47. It is $1.546 lower than the record $5.016 set June 14.
The average price is 28.8 cents lower than a month ago, but 8.5 cents higher than one year ago.
California’s high gas price, compared to the national average, can be put down to having the highest gas tax in the nation, limited refinery capacity, higher cost of importing gasoline to make up the shrinking number of local refineries, and higher general cost of living, Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California told City News Service.
The Golden State’s current gas tax is at 68 cents per gallon, which increased by 2.8 cents in July.
Earlier this year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed suspending the gas tax increase, which was stuck in the state Legislature and did not make the May 1 deadline.
Meanwhile, a movement to limit the use of fossil fuel is spreading across the state.
The policy push began in September 2020 when Newsom signed an executive order to phase out sales of new gas vehicles by 2035.
He proposed new rules last October requiring new oil wells or drilling facilities in California to be at least 3,200 feet from homes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other “sensitive locations,” citing impacts toxic chemicals can have on communities, including asthma and birth defects.
The proposal is undergoing an economic analysis and a 60-day public comment period, which will determine whether it will take effect.
The governor has also called for phasing out oil extraction by 2045.