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California gasoline is higher, but some states have it worse

July 18, 2011 | 11:31 am

Refinery problems plaguing the northeast U.S. and the Great Lakes region are keeping California out of the top five of the nation's worst gasoline prices.

CA_grph California is almost always vying with Alaska and Hawaii for the worst gasoline prices in America because of its complicated gasoline blend and relative isolation from U.S. oil sources. But not so this summer.

The California average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 2.3 cents over the past week to $3.803, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. But that was only high enough to rank it seventh behind Hawaii ($4.064), Alaska ($4.046), Connecticut ($4.015), New York, ($3.926), Illinois ($3.910) and Rhode Island ($3.835.)

Nationally, the average price rose 4.5 cents to $3.676 a gallon over the past week, the AAA said.

"California gasoline supplies have been very healthy and there have been few refinery problems there. If refineries in other parts of the country were doing better, we wouldn't see prices rising this fast," said Patrick DeHaan, senior energy analyst for, a system of 185 websites that gather prices from a network of volunteer reporters.

In other energy news, oil prices were headed lower based on fears about the U.S. deficit deadlock and similar worries about European debt. Brent crude futures were down $1.36 to $115.90 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, while U.S. crude was losing $2.08 to $95.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

--Ronald D. White

The graphic is the AAA Fuel Gauge Report's 12-month rolling average for California and U.S. gasoline prices.