Before that, they used methyl-tertiary butyl ether, also known as MTBE, but found it was causing a problem by contaminating water supplies. More and more states are joining this action as well. Methyl-tertiary-butyl ether, (MTBE) is added to gasoline so it will burn cleaner, with less emissions, but it can find its way into the ground water supply.
It can make the water taste foul or smell badly, but worse than that, we do not know the health effects that could come along with this problem as they are as yet unknown. It is classified by the EPA as a possible carcinogen.
But as with everything this extra refining costs money, and the refinery wants to make a profit so that adds more to the actual cost of the processed gas.
The gas station owner needs to make a profit too, so let's add more on to the price of the gas. It costs a lot of money to supply a station with gas, employees and all the other costs associated with running a business.
Let's not forget sales tax which adds 7.25% to the price, then there is state tax, add another . 18 cents per gallon and Uncle Sam gets some too, at the rate of 18.4 cents per gallon. (Imagine how inexpensive gasoline would be if we could eliminate the taxes!)
Even the use of credit cards can drive up the prices of gas, there is usually a higher pay with credit card cost because of the fees involved with the transaction. That is everywhere though, not just in California.
In the summer months the demand for more gasoline in California and everywhere else drives the prices higher, because when the weather is warmer, people drive more. The increased gas use comes to somewhere between 8 or 9%. If there are any problems at all with production in this high demand season it will drive the prices up even higher.
Today regular gas in Los Angeles is costing between 2.37 and 2.79 per gallon, and in Maryland it is costing between 1.99 and 2.59. On the low end, that is . 38 more per gallon.
Hopefully the tougher emission standards will improve the air quality and protect the environment from further destruction from car emissions. If it does, it will be well worth the higher gasoline costs in the long run.