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Gas prices remain high across the United States, and drivers feel the pain each time they fill up their cars as gas costs are taking a big bite out of people’s paychecks. But drivers in California have everyone else beat since the prices there are the highest in the country. The costs for gasoline are so high that some people are thinking about quitting their jobs to find something with a shorter or no commute.

Gas prices are outrageous, especially in California

A black gas nozzle pumping gas as gas prices continue going up.
Gas pump nozzle | Getty Images

While the price of gas is a national problem, it’s particularly difficult in California, which has the highest gas prices in the country. According to AAA, the price peaked nationally on June 14, 2022, at an average of $5.016 per gallon for regular unleaded. However, the highest average price in California was $6.438 on the same date.

Prices did decline in the last two weeks of June. The average California gas price on June 27 was $6.318 per gallon of regular gas, $6.521 for mid-grade gas, $6.660 for premium gas, and $6.969 for diesel. The range for regular gas on that date was between a low of $6.119 in Kings County and $7.799 in Alpine County. State legislators will be investigating why California prices are so high.

The country as a whole on June 27 had an average price of $4.897, ranging between $4.401 in Georgia and $6.318 in California. Of course, averages also mean that some locations are higher or lower. According to autoevolution, one blogger in California found premium gas selling for nearly $10 a gallon.

Some people are considering quitting their jobs

Gas is costing workers so much that some are considering quitting their jobs, says autoevolution. Some people would prefer working remotely, and others hope to find something with a shorter commute.

At this stage of the pandemic, more employees are finding that they’re now required to be back in the office. CNN reports that some companies, like Twitter, are sticking with the remote work option, but others, like Tesla, require workers to be in the office all week. According to Reuters, BCI Solutions Inc., a metal foundry in Bremen, Indiana, lost 14 workers in the first two weeks of March 2022, more than 7% of the company’s workers. High gas prices were at least partly to blame for the high number of employees quitting.

Why gas prices are so high

Several factors are driving up the price of gas. Because of the ongoing pandemic, many travelers are most comfortable driving, increasing demand. Gas prices often increase in the summer anyway.

Due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, an executive order in March 2022 banned the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal into the U.S. The European Union also has restrictions on importing from Russia. These policies decreased supply.

Forbes points out that crude oil production had already reduced during the early days of the pandemic. Additionally, a cyberattack took the Colonial Pipeline offline for six days in April 2021, and another pipeline in the Southeast had a spill on October 1, 2021, that took some time to repair.

To help offset supply issues, the Biden administration committed to releasing 90 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve during the fiscal year. While the federal government is working to reduce gas prices, prices are expected to remain high. In early June, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast that the average price of regular gas will decline in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2022 but only to a national average of $4.27 per gallon.

Gas prices, while down a bit as of the end of June, remain high, especially in California. This pain at the pump has some people considering quitting their jobs to save on driving costs.


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