By Jon Martinez
Based off the average gas prices by metro area, California is the 2nd highest in average gas prices among all 50 states.
The highest average price for gas goes to Hawaii ($2.89), which kind of makes sense, being that Hawaii is an island 2,471 miles away from the rest of the United States.
But why is California next in line?
In this state, there are so many oil rigs when you look out toward the coast and an even larger amount of those huge pump jacks as you drive through the hills.
So why is there such a high price for gas if we drill for oil so much locally? On a few occasions this year, gas prices in California have jumped 37 cents.
In March alone, gas prices in Los Angeles rose 41 cents over a 23-day-period.
Today, California’s average price per gallon is $2.75. Southern California’s average price per gallon is $2.81. Los Angeles’s average price per gallon is $2.86. East Los Angeles and Monterey Park both range from $2.64-2.89 per gallon. The gas stations at the corner of Atlantic and Cesar Chavez are starting at $2.89.
Thus meaning, the gas prices down the street from East Los Angeles College are not only among the highest in Los Angeles County, but also among the highest in the State of California and the rest of the nation.
What is the reason for this? Why are gas prices so high not just locally, but for California as a whole? The reason, California has tougher gas standards than even those of the federal government.
It mandates the use of cleaner gas, meaning fewer emissions distributed from vehicles into our atmosphere. Gas experts strongly believe that California gas is one of the cleanest-burning in the world. That cleanliness comes with a price. It takes a toll on gas companies for its costly to refine because of its special oxygenated blend that is required to meet California’s strict air quality regulation.
We may be paying a high price per gallon on average right now, but it’s still 30-50 cents less than what we were paying in January and nearly a dollar less than what we were paying a year ago.
But the questions still remains, why is the gas near ELAC higher than almost everywhere else? Most of surrounding cities of ELAC have gas stations 20-40 cents less for their price per gallon than the Shell and Chevron on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Atlantic. Those big gas companies obviously see dollar signs when there is a college, a car dealership, two shopping plazas, a freeway, two main streets and a famous hamburger stand within a one-block radius.
What about for the people who are working for minimum wage at those locations? What about those low-income families that live near this intersection? What about those students who have to balance school with work, family and whatever else life has offer? Why do they need to pay for higher price of gas then nearly the rest of Los Angeles, California and the rest of the nation? The gas prices is dominantly Hispanic/Latino areas has been predominantly greater than other cities of a different ethnic background. With the exception of Beverly and Santa Monica, East Los Angeles has statistically always been at a top ranking when it comes to gas prices. Why? We need answers.
The following are some of the average gas prices in the surrounding cities of ELAC:
Pico Rivera: $2.51-2.89
East L.A.: $2.64-2.89
Monterey Park: $2.69-2.89
Shell & Chevron gas stations on the corner of Cesar Chavez & Atlantic: $2.89