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Governor Brown injects early 'winter blend' gas into CA economy

Gas prices at a station in Newport Beach.
Gas prices at a station in Newport Beach.
Ed Joyce/KPCC

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If you're in your car right now, it's probably bugging you. $4.68, $4.85, sometimes five dollars.

With California gasoline prices reaching all-time highs, Governor Jerry Brown has taken action. He'll allow a shift to so-called winter blend gasoline, which he says may relieve the shortage creating the price run-up.

The governor said the move will allow California to import more gas from out of state--currently, only California refineries can produce the lower emission summer blend of gas.

While oil companies have called on Sacramento to ease up on regulations, Governor Brown defended the regulations in an interview with KPCC's A Martinez. "Vulnerable people, elderly, young kids, [smog] can permanently damage their lungs. We don't want to go back to that."

On the other hand, Brown said Californians still need gas. "I certainly am going to do everything I can to work with our energy people to get the refinery capacity in balance with the consumption."

But what's in this beloved winter blend? And when should we expect to see cheaper gas?

For some answer, host Alex Cohen also talked with Tom Kloza--he's Chief Oil Analyst for Oil Price Information Service.