Most of the media reports about gas prices in California cover the fact that gas prices in some parts of the state have moved above $5. But, for drivers who use premium, the prices is already near that level throughout the state. The AAA Fuel Gauge showed the average price for a gallon of premium in California is now $4.80.

The price spikes in California have been blame on refinery capacity. But, that is not the whole of it. Much of the oil California uses is transported  south from Alaska--an expensive proposition.

Gas prices for a gallon of regular on average around the U.S. reached $3.806, up from $3.783 a week ago. Regular has topped $4 in seven states, include several of the most populous--New York and California among them.

What many Americans consider extraordinary and inexplicable is that the price of WTI crude has dropped quickly below $90--a sign of the lack of connection between crude and gas. At least in the short term, the global economic slowdown and lack of military confrontation with Iran have pushed the price of oil down. Refinery bottle necks and shortages of gas inventory in some regions of America have forced it higher.

Now. Americans have to wait, for who knows how long, for oil prices to trigger a drop in gas.

Douglas A. McIntyre

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