Gas Price Hike Could be Due to Outages, Manipulation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The California Energy Commission says refinery outages and potential market manipulation could be driving up state gas prices.

In a memo to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the commission says price hikes since 2015 have ranged between 17 cents and 34 cents per gallon, after accounting for additional taxes and other program costs.

The commission says the increases may stem, in part, from some retailers charging higher prices than others for the same product.

The commission says the findings are preliminary and imprecise. Agency officials propose studying the issue for the next five months and then providing a full report to the governor.

On Friday, Fresno drivers were paying an average of $4.02 per gallon for regular unleaded.  The national average is $2.86.