FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Californians are paying more at the pump than the rest of the nation. According to AAA, the average price of regular gas is $2.50 in our state, which is roughly 80 cents more than the national average.
Raymond Sandoval's drive home from Fresno is getting cheaper. He said last year a full tank was, at least, $60, today, it topped off at $35. "There's a $25 difference right there."
And the money he's saving is fueling his free time. "You can go out and buy something a little bit special, take a ride up to the mountains and see the snow, it won't really break your pocket."
It's a good time to be on the road in Fresno. According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is roughly $2.15 cents. It's a $1.87 at this Fast 'N Easy, which is nice but drivers in other states are paying less. Just ask Mike Martin, a fuel expert at RV Jensen. "It's not a conspiracy, it's just the state of California and how we have to address its needs and demands and the tax structure that keeps prices up."
In California, he said a lot of factors drive what we pay at the pump. The gas tax is one of the highest in the nation-- about 40 cents a gallon. The state has tougher standards calling for cleaner gas with fewer emissions, and it costs more to refine. Martin said a higher demand also adds to the equation. "It's all buried in the price, and unfortunately, all of us consumers are having to pay for that."
As far as the state goes, it's tough to beat the prices in the Valley and many are hoping they'll hold steady. "That's why I stay right here in Fresno, save gas, save on food to put on the table for my mom," said Karl young, consumer.
Now there is a benefit to these tougher gas standards. Fewer emissions equals cleaner air and that's something we can all live with.