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The Cautious Optimism Correspondent for Economic Affairs and Other Egghead stuff recently filled the tank on his vacation rental car in Houston for $2.09/gallon en route to the airport. Upon arriving in San Francisco his Uber ride passed by several gas stations selling unleaded for well over $4.00.
Given that crude oil trades for virtually the same price across the United States—with negligible differences for oil delivered via pipeline versus rail and tankers—the correspondent challenges California progressives to explain how the nearly $2 difference per gallon can be explained by the “greed” of oil companies (if you don’t believe they’re blaming Big Oil just check out state official and reader comments in the attached story).
The sharply higher price of fuel is particularly puzzling given that both California and San Francisco are filled with selfless, caring liberals who profess to transcend and reject capitalist greed in pursuit of the altruistic common good. Plus the Golden State is rife with endless regulations that protect its consumers from price gouging by the Dark Sith Lords of the petroleum industry.
Meanwhile Texas, being the epitome of red state evil, is overrun with cold-hearted businessmen who, absent progressive regulations to rein in their lust for profit, take sadistic pleasure daily in exploiting helpless commuters in their pursuit of wanton greed and avarice.
So why does California gasoline, which should be far cheaper due to progressive pro-consumer policies, run double the price of Texas gasoline which should cost one-hundred price-gouging dollars a gallon?