Bay Area gas prices rising despite drop in state

Average cost per gallon in Northern California up from July

Gas prices have been dropping in many parts of California the past few days, but Tuesday's AAA gas price report shows many Bay Area cities are seeing slightly higher prices at the pump since last month.

The average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in California is $3.78, the same price from a July 2011 report. Compared with reports from this time last year, this is a 61-cent increase, according to AAA officials, who monitor the rates.

In Northern California, gas prices are averaging $3.79 per gallon this month, up two cents from last month. In the Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $3.88 per gallon, also a two-cent increase from July.

San Francisco continues to have the highest gas prices in the Bay Area with the average gallon at $3.94. The cheapest gas in the Bay Area is in Santa Cruz, averaging $3.72 per gallon, according to the AAA report.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by price gouging
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

Oil companies are making ridiculous profits off of the backs of the working poor.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Let's back that up with numbers. Oil companies' profit is less than ten cents per gallon. State of California makes much more, with an excise tax of 35.7 cents/gal plus fees of 13.4 cents/gal. And the Feds get an 18.4 cents/gal excise tax. Taxes and fees pay for roads and more. Profits go to shareholders and further energy development. Either way we are funding plenty of jobs.

Like this comment
Posted by price gouging
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

All your "cents/gal" add up to a small fraction when gas is $4/gallon. I would be much happier if the taxes were "cents/dollar" like regular sales taxes. And how does "profits go to shareholders" create plenty of jobs?

Yes, oil companies do spend some amount for oil spill cleanups, but they just increase their prices when those spills happen, so they have more profits to play with. And oil spill cleanup work is not much fun and really doesn't make up for lost jobs in other areas like fishing and tourism.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Sorry, I don't understand why our governments do the taxes per gallon rather than a percentage. Maybe to get more predictable revenues.

The big fraction of our $4/gallon is raw material. Say $85/barrel today. Half the barrel, $42.50 worth, gets refined into 20 gallons of gasoline. (The other $42.50 becomes heating oil, jet fuel, plastic bottles, etc.)

So we're at $2.12/gallon, plus refining costs, transportation costs, and retailer's costs. Refineries, tanker trucks, gas stations, labor and maintenance all cost something. If an additional dollar for all that sounds reasonable, then we're close to $4 with the taxes and profit cited in my earlier post. I can only hand-wave here, but this is how I rationalize it to myself when filling up at Costco.

I do own shares of a large east-bay multinational oil company. Their profit is billions/year, which is just about 10% of their sales in the hundreds of billions. And there are billions of shares, owned by mutual funds and pension funds and insurance companies and Calpers and people in their IRAs and 401k's. Our annual dividends amount to about 3% of the share price, which beats the local credit union savings rate in exchange for some risk. If no profits or dividends were allowed, the shareholders would take their capital elsewhere, and all the jobs would disappear. I guess the government could nationalize all our oil and see how that works out.

We're stuck with the system we vote for, through the candidates we vote for, local, state, congressional, and executive. As the world evolves, people run on different platforms and we get to choose again. Radical change is difficult because of vested interests. I'm counting on my 401k and I'm too old to want to start over again.

Like this comment
Posted by boycott gasoline
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 12, 2011 at 8:19 am

High gas prices are causing surging public transit use throughout the Bay Area. Stick it to the oil companies. They do not deserve your support. Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 13, 2011 at 11:46 am

There is lots of money to be made in a crisis, and for something like gasoline that is a necessity to keep the economy running, and all of us alive, working and playing, if it gets to high our economy is choked - so the people, the government, and the rest of business and the economy had better be concerned about the "taxes" ... the "private taxes" that are levied on us under the guise of free enterprise, by the elite that runs and owns the oil companies - and the fed back into government to maintain it and increase the power ... the whole system is anti-democratic, non-productive, send the wrong signals to business, and creates bad incentives. If government is inefficient of bad, look at why.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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