Eyewitness Newsmakers: Experts explain why gas prices are so high in California

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Monday, October 17, 2022
Eyewitness Newsmakers: Experts explain why gas prices are so high
Eyewitness Newsmakers speaks to experts about why gas prices have soared recently -- and when consumers might see some relief at the pump.

With gas prices outrageously high and drivers understandably upset, ABC7 is trying to dig deeper into what's behind the spike.

On this week's "Eyewitness Newsmakers," we're speaking with experts and asking some difficult questions -- including one expert who says gas prices aren't the only things on the rise -- so are oil company profits.

"There are five oil refineries that make 95% of the gas in this state," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. "They should be able to keep us running on 'not on empty.' And, more importantly, they set the price at the pump at every retail gas station in the state. They sell to every retail gas station in the state and they charge more when they say they're in short supply. They don't have to charge more, they choose to charge more and they make profit off the extra they charge."

U.S. gasoline prices that soared to record highs of $5.02 a gallon in mid-June had been falling recently, but they have been on the rise again, posing political problems for President Joe Biden a month before midterm elections.

Biden, facing inflation at near 40-year highs, had touted the falling pump prices. Over the past week, the national average price for a gallon rose 9 cents, to $3.87. That's 65 cents more than Americans were paying a year ago.

What do the oil companies say about this? What can California lawmakers do to give drivers some relief? We're asking the tough questions Sunday at 11 a.m. on ABC7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.