Santa Barbara currently holds the highest average gasoline price per gallon nationwide, with significant increases occurring as gas prices across the country have skyrocketed in recent months, according to GasBuddy.com.
The site, which compiles average gas prices using data submitted by gasoline consumers, reports that Santa Barbara’s average gasoline price is $4.33 per gallon, while the California average is $4.18 and the nationwide average is just $3.72. Furthermore, gas prices nationwide have significantly increased in the last month, rising from $3.27 to $3.72 per gallon.
According to Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, Southern California usually has more expensive gas prices than Northern California due to the high cost of production in the southern region. Laskoski said an Environmental Protection Agency mandate requires Southern California to use a special blend of gasoline during the summertime to reduce emissions of environmental pollutants.
“Southern California gas causes less air pollution,” Laskoski said. “At this point in the year, refineries reduce winter emission and take care of maintenance before producing summer blend. This transition creates tighter supply and the summer blend is much more expensive.”
Laskoski also said Santa Barbara’s high prices are a result of its overall disposition as an affluent community, adding that local gas prices have seen a 12-cent increase from last week’s price and a 56-cent increase from last month’s price of $3.77.
Since the data displayed on GasBuddy.com is consumer-driven, the site encourages users to submit customer reports by entering these users in a weekly raffle to win $250 in prepaid gas, according to Patrick DeHaan, also a senior petroleum analyst for the site.
According to both GasBuddy.com analysts, Santa Barbara gas prices are currently still rising and will likely continue to do so.