Readers React: Let drivers see how much environmental rules increase the price of gas

A Chevron gas station in Malibu advertises self-serve gasoline above $4 per gallon on April 15.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Sure, when California’s strict environmental regulations force a switch to a summer blend, it costs more. When refineries are down for repair, the costs go up as well. (“Why are gas prices so high? California will probe possible ‘market manipulation,’” May 17)

But the big costs we all pay are the excessive taxes and environmental regulation costs lawmakers have placed on fuel. These are costs placed squarely on the backs of our state’s hard-working blue-collar workers who typically commute the farthest.

A bill, SB 1074, was proposed in 2018 by state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) to have all those costs transparent to the public. But members of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development were adamant that they didn’t want the public to know why we’re paying so much and voted at a hearing to kill SB 1074. I know, because I was there testifying.

It’s time to let consumers see all the taxes and environmental costs they are paying at the pump. When drivers moan, they will certainly know whom to blame.


Ronald Stein, Irvine

The writer is an engineer and the founder of a staffing firm for oil and gas companies.


To the editor: I find it laughable that the state plans a deeper look at gas prices.


The major oil companies have control of a captive market and have free rein on prices. Regulations prevent us from using the gasoline blend sold in most of the country during times of shortage, so prices shoot up during refinery shutdowns.

The major oil companies have squeezed out independent refiners, such as Golden West and Powerine, whose gasoline sold at the lowest prices. In 1980, there were 40 operating oil refineries in California. Now, there are only 17.

When you have a smaller number of players in a market, they have more control over price, plain and simple.

Jack Nagy, Whittier

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