SACRAMENTO -- To combat rising gas prices, Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking the state's air resources board to let refineries distribute cheaper winter-blend gasoline earlier than normally allowed by law.
According to a letter issued by Newsom on Friday, California refiners are required to produce the summer-blend gasoline through October in most areas of the state. The winter blend is allowed to be distributed after Oct. 31.
However, the governor is pushing for winter-blend gasoline to be distributed now, since it is cheaper to produce and results in lower gas prices at the pumps. The governor said if prices continue to rise, it may cause "unacceptable price impacts for consumers and small businesses" and a "significant economic disruption."
"In light of the dramatic increase in gas prices that California is experiencing, we should not wait until the end of the month to start distributing or to ramp up production of our winter-blend gasoline," read the letter. "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."
According to AAA, the average cost of regular gasoline in California is $6.29.