California Releases Cheaper Gasoline…But at What Cost?

In California gasoline prices are reaching $4.65 a gallon and as a result Gov. Brown and state agencies decided to take action.  California decided to allow the sale of winter gasoline a month earlier then usually.  Winter Gasoline is less environmentally friendly because if used during warmer temperatures will evaporate into the atmosphere quicker than alternatives.  This is even true for gas that remains in subterranean storage tanks. It was noted that if a major heat wave hits California the switch to winter gasoline may have a large effect on the air quality.

While gas prices always fluctuate, California is seeing a rise in price above the national average because of problems with their state refineries.  The national average was noted to be $3.814 with California prices reaching  $4.65.

This bring an interesting question to state and local government reform.  With the large impacts that gas prices have on the everyday economy and everyday lives of residents, when should a state intervene in the market in an attempt to lower gas prices?  And how much weight should be given to the environmental effects that may result?

The article showcasing this California action is available here,0,7934574.story 

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