High fuel prices at stations in Garden Grove, Calif. On Monday, March 7, 2022.
Jeff Gritchen | Media News Group | Getty Images
California state average for a gallon of gas exceeded $ 6, making fuel in the Golden State the most expensive in the United States
The average pump price in California hit a record $ 6,021 per gallon on Tuesday, according to AAA. Prices are up 31 cents from last month and $ 1.89 more than a year ago.
California prices are the most extreme, but gas is rising across the country.
The national average hit a record high of $ 4,523 on Tuesday, with each state now averaging over $ 4.
The strong jump is partly due to the increase in oil prices, which represents more than half of the final price of gas.
“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said in a statement Monday.
“Even the annual seasonal drop in gasoline demand during the spring break to Memorial Day break, which would normally help lower prices, has no effect this year,” he added.
But oil is not the only factor affecting gas prices, and a lack of refining capacity is also driving up prices.
Refineries transform oil into petroleum products such as the gas we use on a daily basis. Demand for products is increasing as economic activity returns, but refining capacity is below pre-pandemic levels, which is contributing to the rapid rise in prices.
Retail diesel prices are also on the move, with the national average for a gallon hitting a record high of $ 5,573 on Tuesday. Prices are as low as $ 2.40 in the past year.