According to the Contra Costa Times, gas prices at the pump are expected to go down as much as 50 cents in California, bringing relief to beleaguered commuters now paying on average $4.26 per gallon.
On Thursday, for the first time in three weeks, oil fell below $100 a barrel. This prompted Patrick DeHaan, petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, to comment, “They just started to ease. The worst may be behind us. The next week is crucial. Let’s see what happens if oil is lower.”
Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, is very optimistic that prices are on the way down, providing there are no unforeseen calamities. “Barring a disruption of supply or a major ratcheting up of tension in Ukraine, we could see a dramatic drop in oil prices… Crude, gasoline, and diesel have probably peaked for a long time.”
USA Today reported in late March that California currently pays the highest prices for gas in the country, with the exception of Hawaii, which suffers from being several thousand miles from the continental US. California, although it is the third largest producer of gas in the United States, also consumes a tremendous quantity. Consequently, it is aways running at full capacity. If there are any disruptions in the supplies, prices spike quickly. Moreover, California charges more than 52 cents per gallon in state taxes, the most of any state in the nation.