$4.50 at the pump could rise from refinery fire ashes

$4.50 at the pump could rise from refinery fire ashes »Play Video
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — There is no way around it, gas is going to get even more expensive in the coming days.

The rise is being blamed on this week's fire at one of the largest refineries in the nation. It's also only one of about a dozen refineries that produces California’s special blend of gas, so get ready for a price bump at the pump.

Monday's refinery fire in Richmond shut down a crucial part of oil production for gas in California.

"There are only 14 places in the state that produce that blend," said California State University, Bakersfield economics professor Dr. Mark Evans. Fifteen percent of California's gas comes from the Richmond Chevron Refinery, which means the fire is already affecting oil futures, which drive the price of gas.

"These things are going to become more and more prevalent unless we can figure out a way to build more refineries," said Evans.

California has lost half of its refineries in the last decade or so, according to Evans, who said we could see gas prices as high as $4.25 a gallon by next week.

Experts have said it will be a couple of weeks until we see the worst prices. Evans believes it could get as high as $4.50 this summer.