Students react as gas prices jump dramatically
Biola students felt the effect of the recent 60-cent escalation in the price of fuel. After a week and a half of soaring costs, gas prices are now on the way down.
The prices shot up after multiple California refineries experienced difficulties.
“Refinery operations have been limping along,” said Denton Cinquegrana, executive editor for Oil Price Information Service.
The state’s refineries have been experiencing a variety of problems that have debilitated overall availability of gasoline. Cinquegrana compared the issues to an athlete with an injury.
“They’re not 100 percent, but they can play,” he said.
Students cut down on unnecessary driving
Biola sophomore cinema and media arts major Tyler Knight has had to change some aspects of his lifestyle. He doesn’t go on food runs anymore due to the high price of fuel.
“I never drive unless I absolutely have to,” he said. He sticks to driving back and forth from his tutoring job in Whittier.
The shortages were especially hard on prices in the Los Angeles area. As of Wednesday, the average price was $4.70 a gallon, whereas it was $4.25 just a week before, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
Wednesday’s price was only half a cent cheaper than the day before and the return to last week’s much lower prices likely won’t happen quickly.
New gasoline mixes combat low supply
California uses summer-blend gas much of the year due to the climate. The blend is used during warmer months to decrease the effects of smog, but was more difficult to produce with the refinery issues, according to Cincquegrana.
In California, winter-blend gasoline typically isn’t used until the end of October, but will be released three weeks earlier after Gov. Jerry Brown directed the California Air Resources Board on Sunday in a letter to release extra gas to increase the supply.
“I don’t think it’s going to be like some magic wand that they’re going to wave and prices will come down [immediately],” Cinquegrana said.
So far, the high prices haven’t affected senior Christian ministries major Joel Vandergoot.
“I don’t drive very long distances usually. I only have to fill up every week and a half or so,” he said.
Brown’s decision should eventually help prices drop, though, according to Cinquegrana. With the seasonal prices of gasoline, Cinquegrana expects that prices could return to normal between Halloween and Election Day.