Gas costs in California are rising. Why and how high they could go 

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One of the U.S. states where refinery issues have limited supplies and led to regional surges significant enough to undo an extended reduction in the national average gas price, analysts say, is California, where gas prices are once again on the rise.

According to data from the American Automobile Association, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in California on Tuesday was $5.88. This was more than $2 more expensive than the national average price and was up 9 cents overnight and 43 cents from a week ago.

Additionally, researchers predicted that prices in the state might rise for a few more weeks, in some places by as much as 75 cents per gallon.

Severin Borenstein, an economist and academic director of the Energy Institute at Haas at UC Berkeley, said that while drivers were paying record-high prices earlier this year, the source of the recent price increase in California is different.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, prices started to rise, pushing the price of crude oil from $90 per barrel to well over $100. But despite worries about a global recession, oil prices have been slowly falling recently.

This time, local refinery troubles are causing California's high gas costs. According to a blog post by GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan, prices have risen at refineries in the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, and Plains.

"The rise this time is due to a shortage of refined gasoline," said Borenstein, noting that nearby refineries' output was decreased owing to maintenance or unanticipated outages.

According to Borenstein and others, greater gas taxes, as well as other levies and taxes related to the environment, contribute to California consistently having the highest gas costs in the country.

Given how expensive gasoline is as a commodity, Borenstein predicted that the retail price will increase for at least a few more weeks. Beyond that, it's difficult to say.

According to Nicole Peterson, a spokesman for GasBuddy, some regions of the nation, such as the Northeast and South, have continued to experience falling gas prices.

"Wild variations" in the West Coast, Great Lakes, and Plains ended a 14-week gas price decline nationally, De Haan said. The U.S. average rose 3.2 cents from a week ago to $3.67 per gallon Monday, down 17.5 cents from a month ago but still 49.3 cents more than a year ago.

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