A Press Democrat Blog

Road Warrior

Trying to make sense out of getting around

What’s going on with gas prices?

After rocketing up an average of about 55 cents in the past month — more at some stations — gas prices in Sonoma County appear to have leveled off and may even have peaked. Analysts say the price surge was driven by the annual switch by refineries from making winter gas to more expensive-to-produce-but-cleaner summer gas and by some refineries reducing production to do maintenance. AAA reported Wednesday that the average price for regular gas in Santa Rosa was $4.169,… Read More »

Wallet-sucking jump in gas prices not quite a record

The way gas prices are soaring here you might think it’s been a record jump. Not quite. California’s average price shot up 25.6 cents a gallon in the past week, from $4.031 to $4.287 on Sunday, according to AAA. But after Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast in 2005,  the California average jumped 29 cents, from $2.77   on Aug. 29, 2005, to $3.06 on Sept. 5, 2005. Percentage-wise, that was a nearly a 10.5 percent hike. Last week’s jump was… Read More »

State gas price at historic high

Bad news for drivers: The state’s average price for regular gasoline is rolling along at record highs for this time of year. The average was $3.844 a gallon on Wednesday, down about a penny from Monday, according to AAA. That’s more than 20 percent higher than the old record of $3.143 set in 2007 and again in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times. While the rest of the lower 48 states have lower gas prices — Alaska and Hawaii… Read More »

Turning roads into electricity

Your car might help give PG&E a run for its money if a Los Angeles assemblyman has his way. The Assembly on Wednesday passed 65-3 a bill by Democrat Mike Gatto to have the state Energy Commission research the possibility of turning roads and rail lines into mini-electric power plants by using piezoelectric technology. “The science works as follows: When a car or truck passes over pavement, the pavement vibrates ever so slightly,” Gatto’s office said in a statement. “You… Read More »

Why gas prices go up faster than they come down

How gasoline prices are set at your local station is pretty complex, but after talking with the gas price expert at the state Energy Commission, here are the basics: The wholesale gas price that oil companies charge their franchisees is based on a benchmark price, which typically results from the New York Mercantile Exchange’s price for gasoline futures plus a differential, says Gordon Schremp, senior fuel analyst for the commission. Let’s say the NYMEX price for gasoline futures closes at… Read More »