Oklahoman energy editor is glad to report gasoline is less expensive at home

While the price of gasoline in Oklahoma is still higher than most consumers would prefer, it is down from one year ago and one month ago. It is also about $1 lower than in California, where Oklahoman Energy Editor Adam Wilmoth spent more on one tank of gas than he did to rent a car for two days.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: June 22, 2012

I'm glad to be back in Oklahoma.

While gasoline prices in the state are higher than most consumers would prefer, they are down from one year ago and about $1 per gallon lower than in California.

My family and I spent last week in San Diego. We had a great time, but I'm glad to be home.

One thing I will not miss from that trip is the price of gasoline.

Last week, I filled up a rental car for $4.17 a gallon. At that price, one tank of fuel cost more than two days' rental charges.

Gasoline prices in Oklahoma usually are among the lowest in the country, largely because of our relatively low tax rates and our proximity to refineries and pipelines.

California, on the other hand, almost always boasts the highest gasoline prices in the country.

One reason is taxes. At 48.6 cents a gallon, California has the second highest state gasoline tax in the country, slightly below New York at 49 cents a gallon.

Oklahoma has the fifth lowest tax rate at 17 cents a gallon.

The national average is 31.1 cents, in addition to a federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon.

Another reason California almost always tips the scale on gasoline prices is the expensive and complicated blends of gasoline the state requires for environmental reasons. Summer blends are even more complicated and expensive than winter blends.

More than 32 million cars are registered in California, and the state has battled with smog and other air quality issues. The fuel blends are designed to ease pollution.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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