CALIFORNIA – In 2012, Californians paid the highest average gas price on record; almost $4.03 for a gallon of regular unleaded.The American Automobile Association’s fuel report says we crushed the old record set just a year ago by 21 cents.Analysts say California has unique pricing issues that contributed to the cost increases.Higher emissions standards than the rest of the country mean we can’t get cheap crude from states like North Dakota, Oklahoma or Texas, which are going through an oil boom.Our only source of crude in the U.S. is Alaska’s North Slope, which some say is drying up. That means we are relying more on foreign oil, which is more expensive.Analysts say a power failure at an Exxon Mobil plant in Torrance in October lowered supply levels in our state. The same thing happened in August at a Chevron refinery in Richmond after a corroded pipe triggered a massive fire.76 gas station owner Don Risdon says anytime supply is cut prices will rise.But, not everyone believes price hikes are caused by simple economics. Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer want the Attorney General and the Justice Department to investigate our record breaking fuel prices.
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