On the West Coast, however, particularly around Los Angeles, gasoline prices have actually risen in recent weeks because several refineries were forced to suspend operations because of power failures and repairs to compressors. But those problems are expected to be cleared up by June, and energy experts expect prices to ease afterward.
The diverging refinery situations are reflected in the wide gap in gasoline prices from one coast to the other. The average price for regular gasoline on Thursday was $3.92 a gallon in New York but $4.31 a gallon in California.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline on Thursday was $3.67, nearly 30 cents below the high for the year reached in early April. A year ago, the average prices stood at $3.85 a gallon.
One of the jokes I’ve been telling my friends while visiting them in California is that 20 percent of all conversations over here seem to revolve around traffic/figuring out how to get somewhere/parking/gas prices. Gas prices is a thing that particularly riles up people, especially in an election year, even if economists agree that high gas prices are due to market factors and not government policies. “The Rent is Too Damn High” is a thing I hear a lot of people say in New York, and in California, it’s “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High.” I just know that all of this just makes me glad there is a good public transportation system waiting for me when I head back to NYC. But I’ll continue to complain about the rent, of course.