The only gas station in Gorda Springs, California, population ~100, is now selling premium gasoline for $8.50 per gallon amid one of the most jarring energy crises in history.
The small town of Gorda boasts a particular affluence that makes its name, which means “Fat” in Spanish, rather apt. It’s located along scenic Highway 1, attracting tourists from nearly everywhere. It’s known for a few things, including a ban on billboards and banners. It has a hotel, a couple of restaurants where one can watch whales while sipping cocktails, and a lone gas station—a pricey lone gas station.
This week, the world was shocked by news reports that showed images of Gorda’s only gas station charging more than $7 for a gallon of regular gasoline and $8.50 for a gallon of premium. It is a driver’s only choice for gas for many miles.
But Gorda Springs has long been known for charging high prices for its gasoline—some of the highest in the country.
But elsewhere in California, to the north, gasoline prices have climbed to a level not seen in almost a decade—and not just at a single gas station. The soaring costs are everywhere. Los Angeles/Long Beach prices have risen to $4.54 per gallon for regular gasoline, according to AAA data.
What’s more, gasoline prices in Los Angeles saw an increase of $.08 in just a week, a $0.15 rise over the last month, and a staggering $1.36 in a year—marking a 30% increase.
In that time, the minimum wage has increased by less than 10%. For lower-income households that often spend twice as much on gasoline as affluent ones (as much as 9% of their total household income), it is a painful reality.
California has the highest gasoline tax and fees in the nation and accounts for $0.669 of each gallon of gasoline, according to the API. This does not include the 18.4 cents per gallon in federal excise taxes.