ND oil could cut CA gas prices

ND oil could cut CA gas prices

fracking.equip_-225x300Finally, California could get relief from gas prices higher than the rest of the country. Although prices across America have fallen in recent months, our prices still are about 70 cents higher.

For example, according to GasBuddy.com, the average price of a gallon of petrol today in St. Louis is $2.98, but in Los Angeles it’s $3.68 — 70 cents higher.

This just in from the WSJ:

For the past decade, the U.S. shale boom has mostly passed by California, forcing oil refiners in the state to import expensive crude.

Now that’s changing as energy companies overcome opposition to forge ahead with rail depots that will get oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.

Thanks in large measure to hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. has reduced oil imports from countries such as Iraq and Russia by 30% over the last decade. Yet in California, imports have shot up by a third to account for more than half the state’s oil supply.

“California refineries arguably have the most expensive crude slate in North America,” says David Hackett, president of energy consulting firm Stillwater Associates.

It’s inspiring how private industry comes up with solutions to problems caused by government.

Of course, the price could be reduced further still if the state tapped the vast oil in the Monterey Formation. Earlier this year the Legislature passed, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed, SB4, which allowed greater oil development there and elsewhere in the state. But the amount that will be developed is disputed; and in any case will take decades to develop. At least it’s a step in the right direction.

Meanwhile, unemployment in North Dakota is 2.8 percent, best in the nation, which basically means people between jobs. By contrast, California’s rate remains at 7.4 percent — 44th worst. At least here we don’t pay nearly as much for heating oil in January.

So, could California gas prices drop?  Oh, wait. There’s this: On Jan. 1, the price will jump 76 cents from the AB 32 tax Gov. Jerry Brown supports.

Tags assigned to this article:
AB 32gas pricesJerry BrownJohn Seiler

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