Many California gas stations started pumping a winter blend of gasoline Nov. 1 that is cheaper than the less-volatile summer blend.
According to The Press Enterprise, the price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the Riverside-San Bernardino area was $2.79 Oct. 31. Summer-blend adds a 3-cent to 15-cent increase in cost-per-gallon compared to winter-blend. Californians often pay the highest-per-gallon prices in the nation.
Jeffrey Spring, spokesman for Automobile Club of Southern California, said gasoline prices go down this time of year because of the change from the summer blend to winter blend.
“Gas has been less the last couple of years with about three to four cents lower than it was last year in most areas,” Spring said. “During the holiday season, the increase in travel is one of the reasons gas prices during this time are low.”
Southern California gas prices were often higher by a few cents than the rest of California, creating a north-south split which declined a year ago in 2015.
Dr. Natalie Winter, interim associate dean of the Robert K. Jabs School of Business and associate professor of marketing, said cheaper gas prices will be helpful as people make their holiday plans.
“Many people drive to various functions during the holiday season and this would help make it more cost efficient to do so,” Winter said. “It adds some extra expendable income to people’s budgets during the holiday season, and since that season can be expensive anyway, it adds a nice bonus.”
The winter blend is cheaper to make because it reduces air pollution and has less hydrocarbon chemicals that can produce 5 to 8 percent more gas by volume.
Nestor Licona, junior political science major, said the winter blend gas will allow for people to travel or buy more things instead of spending most of their money on gas.
“Cheaper gas will be beneficial for drivers because most of us don’t have much money to travel and it will let more people explore the country,” Licona said. “I’m able to travel more instead of making a budget on how much I have and how much I’m going to spend.”