Gas prices in California have continued to rise. Rationing is still in effect. Mel Gibson still lives there.
Yes, things are looking bad:
Gasoline prices in California rose again on Sunday after a series of refinery disruptions caused fuel shortages that experts say could continue to burden motorists into next week.
The average price of regular gasoline in California jumped to about $4.65 a gallon on Sunday, 84 cents higher than the national average and by far the highest in the country, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Hawaii had the next highest average at $4.41.
Prices have been rising for about a week and spiked by nearly 20 cents a gallon, to $4.49, overnight Friday. Prices rose to $4.6140 a gallon on Saturday before jumping again on Sunday.
A power failure last week at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, Calif. was the immediate cause of the spike, though the plant had resumed normal operations by Friday. A Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif. is still operating at partial capacity after a fire in August.
The refinery problems come at a time of year when California typically experiences some production shortages as refiners switch from summer to fall gasoline blends to adhere to state pollution reduction measures. Supplies on the West Coast have dipped to their lowest levels since 2008.
If Exxon Mobil goes down for much longer without Chevron being able to pick up the additional capacity, gas prices and going to continue to go up, which is bad. Worse, there simply will not not be enough gas at any price, and rationing of fuel will have to take place, with individually-owned commuter vehicles at the bottom of the priority list.
If this affects diesel as well (the article is unclear on that point), then the cost of everything else will also rise, including food. Should the family food bill rise another—let’s say just 5% for arguments sake—do you think those Californians barely breaking even in the Barack Obama/Jerry Brown economy will calmly except 5% starvation?
The polimedia seems to be vastly underestimating (or at least, under reporting) that at least some of the conditions for widespread civic unrest are coming to a head in California. When people miss just a few meals, society quickly falls apart. How much more stress can the overburdened system handle before falling apart? I’d say that I hope we don’t have to find out, but with California’s unavoidable bankruptcy and insurmountable bureaucracy, it is more likely that we’re really just facing a matter of “when.”