Here’s why gas prices are higher in Phoenix than in Los Angeles

Currently the average price of regular unleaded stands at just over $5 per gallon.
We're getting answers to why it costs more to fuel up in Maricopa County than in Southern California.
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 5:53 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- If you’re driving to California soon, it will actually cost you less money to fill up your gas tank if you live in Maricopa County.

According to AAA, gas in Maricopa County is currently higher than in Los Angeles County, San Diego County, and Santa Barbara County. Right now, AAA says gas in the Phoenix area is averaging $5.02 a gallon, even more than some Hawaiian islands like Oahu or Maui.

“It really comes down to a product of bad timing. There are some refinery problems, refinery maintenance happening in Texas and New Mexico that really hurt a lot of the supply side regionally here in Arizona, and also at the same time OPEC made the decision to cut part of their supply to the global oil market,” Julian Paredes with AAA said.

As we get into summer, more Arizonans take road trips so demand goes up. On top of that, the summer gas blend is more expensive than winter fuel.

We asked Paredes if prices would stay in the $5+ range or go up even higher. He says “typically prices stick around throughout all summer.”

“It’s certainly possible to see gas prices at this level for the next few months. Hopefully, we won’t, there’s a lot of different factors that go into that, but $5 gas for the next few weeks is definitely possible,” he added.

The average for Arizona is $4.69, more than $1 above the current national average of $3.66 a gallon.

Lawmakers seek answers

Late Monday morning, Rep. Ruben Gallego sent a letter to President Biden asking him to use his power to address the rising cost of fuel.

“Arizona families should not be forced to pay more than a dollar a gallon over the national average for gas,” said Gallego. “It’s even more outrageous that at some gas stations, there are no options left but expensive Premium gas. Our state shouldn’t be punished unfairly for the actions of a few major oil companies. We need the Administration to address these issues and lower costs.”

The average for Arizona is $4.69, more than $1 above the current national average of $3.66 a gallon.