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Which coast pays more for gas?

The average gas price in New York City is $4, a bargain considering what some Americans are paying at the pump.

By Karen Datko Feb 28, 2012 4:09PM

Ah, California -- swimming pools, movie stars, and the highest gas prices in the land.


The price of a gallon of regular gas today averages $4.30 in the Golden State -- a jump of more than 45 cents in two weeks. That exceeds the pain at East Coast pumps by more than two bits, and it's more than a dollar higher than what drivers are paying in some other Western states.  (Post continues below.)

Overall, the national average price is $3.71, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the highest it's ever been at this time of year, The Associated Press said. And it will get worse. The Oil Price Information Service projects a national average price of $4.25 by late April.


We've suffered through high gas prices before -- the July 2008 average hit a record $4.11 -- so we know what steps to take. But what's unusual about this latest gas price trend is how unevenly the pain is being felt.


On the East Coast -- in New York City, specifically -- today's average price is $4, says, about 5 cents higher than the New York state average. In other East Coast states, it's closer to the $3.71 mark.


Meanwhile, CNBC reports, "Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming have the cheapest pump prices in the country, at about $3.21 a gallon or less on average …."


What gives? Chalk it up to "wildly differing wholesale prices for gasoline," CNBC says -- based on the source, type and cost of crude oil that's being refined, as well as a region's refinery capacity. 


It's shrinking on the East Coast, as this Philadelphia Inquirer report explains, and it could get worse: "If the Sunoco Philadelphia refinery shuts down in July, suppliers may need to find 240,000 barrels a day of gasoline and 180,000 barrels of ultra-low sulfur diesel by 2013."


Refinery issues have affected California gas prices too, Jason Toews of told ABC News.


Still, other factors are in play -- the state's relatively high gas tax rate and higher costs of refining to meet its emissions laws.


Another LA Times editorial offered some advice to the state's motorists: 

The weekly spikes and declines of gas prices cause a lot of economic turmoil and consumer angst, but they matter less than the overall trend, and that can head in only one direction: upward. Rising demand in China and India ensures that gasoline is going to become more expensive over time, regardless of who's in the White House. Americans can adapt or go broke. So now is as good a time as any to consider trading in that SUV for something more suited to the 21st century.

More on MSN Money:

Feb 28, 2012 7:09PM
All the rich liberals live in California and have tax on tax and special eco gas and more tax on top of that...the only problem is poor californians are left to suffer under all their stupid save the planet and social programs...California is a perfect example of a Liberal empire...BROKE with rich LIBS patting themselves on the back for saving the planet..while the working joe suffers to get by
Feb 28, 2012 7:04PM

Gas prices are way out of control!!  How can a family with both husband and wife working can afford to live.  I drive 50 miles to work everyday which costs me $15.00/day round trip and that is with gas at $3.49/gal.  If it hits at $4.00 or more it is going to cost me over $100/week which equates to 20% of my take home pay.  And they say that the economy is gaining ground, I would like to see where the gains are made.  You can only stretch your budget dollars to far.  And if it continues, more and more people will be forced to choose to buy gas for thier car to go to work or buy food to feed their family.


May God help us in these insanely times!!!

Feb 28, 2012 7:01PM
I just paid 4.47 at the pump. I hate living in California. Californians get raped more than any other resident. We are forced to pay higher prices on everything from gas to groceries. Rents are outrageous and utilities cost more than my entire rent than when I lived in AZ. Fines, tickets all more here....DO NOT COME TO CALIFORNIA!!!!!!! 

also in san francisco tranny sex changes are covered by tax payers...thank you nancy pelosi and democrats for all your awesome social programs in CA
Feb 28, 2012 7:11PM
As always the west coast gets reamed you know where. Be it on election night or any other major event were always last for everything being 3 hours behind the right coast.  As far as gas prices it's all manipulated by the higher ups so they make the biggest profits on the backs of the American People.  We need to do something soon or we will be forced to walk or ride a broken mass transit system that only takes you part way around the city or state. Being the broken and broke state that we are the people need to vote all the incumbents out of office and bring in some young and fresh ideas before it's to late, if it's not already
Feb 28, 2012 6:39PM
As someone as already mentioned, in CA we pay 35 cents per gallon state tax and then 7+% sales tax on top of the entire cost of a gallon (yes, taxes on taxes!)  And we're still broke at the state level.  Because we can't stop spending.  Sound like anyone else you know?
Feb 28, 2012 6:33PM
Do you know why it is higher in NY and CA?  Same reason it is high in Europe - big liberal taxes they add to it there.
Feb 28, 2012 6:41PM
There's no need to higher gas prices except the oil companies are getting richer. There's no shortage. We have som much oil in this Country, we don't need foreign oil. We just need to find a way to get this oil to the refineries. Alot of the oil wells are caped off because they have no place to go with it. I don't know why we are still importing oil. Why pay them rich Bast**ds when we can pay ourselves??
Feb 28, 2012 6:32PM
Last time I checked it was the oil barrons at Exxonn, BP, etc along with the oil speculators and refiners who dictate the gas prices.  Reality check folks, they are f-ing us the rear.  Follow the money trail and you'll see the donations to Congress from these folks.
Feb 28, 2012 7:09PM
The economics of supply and demand are not so sensitive as to drive a gallon of gas up 20-cents in 24 hours.  This is all about Wall Street and when are we going to take that one street back?
Feb 28, 2012 7:00PM

both berry and his energy czar want gas to up, they have said so....thats why they are shutting down american oil production

Feb 28, 2012 7:49PM

any reason the oil companies tell us is a bold face lie,thers no real reason for the increase,its all about maken a buck and our good old uncle sam will do wat he always does,not a fkn thing except take the huge campainge contributions handed out by those very same oil companies,these thiefs dont care who they steal from so long as ther needs are met.

Feb 28, 2012 6:54PM
Golly guys, you all are blaming the oil companies, speculators, and anyone else but the Democratic Party that does not want drilling to take place and is investing is stupid crap like algae, solar, wind, etc...They need to let the free market take care of it and develop it on thier own nickle.   Vote Obama in again, and you will see $5 or $6 gas before you ever see below $3 again.  You reap what you planted.
Feb 28, 2012 6:59PM
Vote Obama! his slogan is "Skip milk and bread, pay more for gas it's good for the environment". Come on everybody just say Yes we can!  Abra kadabra . LOL
Feb 28, 2012 7:01PM
uh...this is how the left helps the poor??
Feb 28, 2012 7:21PM

Keep supporting oil that is dumped on the world market and we keep getting screwed.

FYI- the oil companies are running this country!! No pipeline for world oil!

Feb 28, 2012 6:18PM
stanger95: Gas is more regulated in Canada than in the US and in part causes the higher price as it is also more highly regulated in California so it is costing more here too!. Oil Companies are not driving up the prices. Saudi Arabia and other countries are  charging more because the Treasury has devalued the dollar by 25 percent the last three years. That represents about 27 dollars per barrel and the speculators drive it up another 10 to 15 percent. Just the facts.
Feb 28, 2012 6:08PM
Why do we let the Oil Companies gouge us like this?   when is the President going to levy price controls on the gas?   It has been done before.    Our gas here on the west coast has gone up from 3.43 just before Christmas to 4.30 a gallon now.    that is just greed!!!
Feb 28, 2012 7:02PM
dont you know california is all lib...and they really care about the poor, they care about keeping them poor
Feb 28, 2012 6:16PM
They're just trying to keep those prices up to push their green agenda. If they ever plan on getting out of this depression it might not be such a good idea to jack up these prices so high. They need to realize not everyone has $40k to blow on a street legal golf cart.
Feb 28, 2012 6:38PM
The Dems have been opposing drilling in the U.S. for the last thirty years on the basis that drilling was not an immediate fix.  If they had promoted drilling thirty years ago, gas could still be $2.50 or lower, but nooooooooooooooooooo ... we mustn't sully our environment with those nasty drilling rigs, we should let other countries sully their environment with them.  Too bad we share the atmosphere and the oceans and thus share their sullied environment.
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