The Golden Land of High Gas Prices
“Sixty bucks! That’s ridiculous,” said one woman filling up her gas tank, on ABC’s “World News with Charles Gibson” March 12.
Consumer complaints and frequent mentions of "the most expensive gasoline" in the country are used by the media to hype rising gas prices. And what state has the most expensive gasoline? California.
“Let me show you what is the most expensive gasoline location in the country. A gallon of unleaded in California right now going for $3.08 a gallon,” said NBC reporter Tom Costello during the March 12 “Nightly News.”
Costello's report, like many others on NBC, CBS and ABC left out the explanation for exorbitant prices at California pumps: higher taxes and excessive environmental regulation.
According to a 2005 study by the Tax Foundation, Californians pay nearly 30 percent more in gasoline taxes than the national average. 60 cents per gallon compared to 45.9.
Green regulations also play a part according to the Energy Information Administration. "The State of California operates its own reformulated gasoline program with more stringent requirements than Federally-mandated clean gasolines."
More stringent requirements means a scarcity of supply and - you guessed it - higher prices.
But most reports simply leave out the higher taxes and more regulation like March 12 reports on NBC "Nightly News" and ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" did.