Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to take emergency steps to increase the state’s gasoline supply and bring down fuel prices.
The Governor directed the board to immediately allow oil refineries to make an early transition to winter-blend gasoline. Winter-blend gasoline typically isn’t sold until after October 31.
“Gas prices in California have risen to their highest levels ever, with unacceptable cost impacts on consumers and small businesses,” said Governor Brown. “I am directing the Air Resources Board to immediately take whatever steps are necessary to allow an early transition to winterblend gasoline.
” Winter-blend gasoline is a mixture that evaporates more quickly than the gasoline sold in summer months, which takes longer to evaporate and is better for air quality during the smog season. Allowing an early transition to winterblend gasoline could increase California’s fuel supply by up to an estimated 8-10 percent with only negligible air quality impacts. Gas
prices in California have skyrocketed over the past week due to a tightening of fuel supplies caused by shutdowns at Tesoro and Exxon refineries. The Exxon refinery came back online Friday and Tesoro is scheduled to resume production early next week. Combined, these actions are expected to stabilize and reduce fuel prices. ■