LOS ANGELES (KNX) - With the cost of gas in some California cities at more than $6 per gallon, Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking the state to let refineries distribute cheaper 'winter-blend' gasoline early.
Typically, most California refiners are required to produce summer-blend gasoline through October; after the 31st, winter-blends are authorized.
However, in a statement sent to the California Air Resources Board, Newsom is asking for winter-blend gasoline to be distributed now since it results in lower gas prices at the pumps.
If prices continue to increase, the result will be "unacceptable price impacts for consumers and small businesses," according to Gov. Newsom.
Newsom goes on to say, "...we should not wait until the end of the month to start distributing or to ramp up production of our winter-blend gasoline."
"Allowing refiners to make an early transition to winter-blend gasoline could quickly increase fuel supply and provide a much-needed safety valve with minimal air quality impacts."
Gov. Newsom doubled his gas-focused efforts by calling on state lawmakers to pass a new tax on oil companies and return the money to Californians. Though, Newsom's office provided few details on the proposal.
Newsom said in a video posted to Twitter that the oil companies are "ripping you off."
Oil industry representatives told AP that state regulations cause higher prices in California compared to the rest of the country.
According to Doug Shupe, a spokesman for the Southern California Automobile Club. Switching from the summer to winter would likely save consumers 15 - 20 cents a gallon, he told AP.
With gas prices in L.A. close to breaking a record of $6.46; "If these prices go up to $7 a gallon, a 15-cent drop is not really going to mean much to drivers," Shupe said.