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California gasoline consumption rose 0.8% in 3Q 2010, diesel up 2.3%

California gasoline consumption increased 1.5% in September and increased 0.8% in the third quarter of 2010, according to figures from the Board of Equalization (BOE). Diesel consumption increased 0.2% in September compared to last year and 2.3% in the third quarter.

Californians consumed 3.80 billion gallons of gasoline in the third quarter compared to the 3.77 billion gallons of gasoline used in the third quarter 2009. The average price of gasoline at the pump in California during the third quarter of 2010 was $3.14, a 3.0% increase over the third quarter 2009’s average price of $3.05 per gallon.

In September 2010, gasoline consumption increased 1.5% when Californians used 1.24 billion gallons of gasoline compared to 1.22 billion gallons consumed in September 2009. The average price of gasoline at the pump in California in September 2010 was $3.06 per gallon, a 3.5% decrease compared to the gasoline price per gallon of $3.17 in September 2009.

Diesel consumption increased 2.3% in the third quarter of 2010 when Californians consumed 669 million gallons of diesel compared to 654 million gallons of diesel fuel consumed in the third quarter of 2009. However, there was a 9.6 million gallon refund in July 2009 and a 19.3 million gallon credit in August 2009 which means the 2.3% quarterly gains would become a 2.0 percent quarterly loss without the credit/refund.

The average price of diesel fuel in California during the third quarter 2010 was $3.14, an 11.7% increase compared to the third quarter of 2009 when the price per gallon of diesel fuel in California was $2.81.

Diesel sold in California during September 2010 totaled 245 million gallons compared to the September 2009 total of 244 million gallons, which is a 0.2% increase. California diesel prices were $3.14 per gallon in September 2010, which is a 10.6% increase compared to September 2009’s average price of $2.84 per gallon of diesel.

The BOE is able to monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. The figures reported monthly are net consumption that includes BOE audit assessments, refunds, amended and late tax returns, and State Controller’s Office refunds. Figures for October 2010 are scheduled to be available at the end of January 2011.



Does this mean that California is slowly pulling of the current recession? Let's see what happens in the next 3 months.

It is only fair that diesel price (with more energy) is going up faster and should eventually match and/or go over gasoline price. With crude close to $100/barrel, 2011 average price could be slightly over $4/gal.

Nick Lyons

Re: diesel price--

Fairness has nothing to do with the price of diesel vs gasoline. Diesel is actually easier to refine from crude than gasoline. Price is mostly driven by supply (influenced by many factors) and demand (ditto).


This illustrates the magnitude of the transportation fuel situation. If we use 10% more oil for transportation fuel over the next 10 years, we send even more money out of the country for imported oil.


Time that they put a tax on gazoline in California. A simple calculation shows that a 1$ tax /gallon would balance the budget of California alone, that would bring the price at, 4.2$ still pretty cheap, and would stimulate the sell of green car electric and plug-in in the years to come, maintaining the advance of California in the green transportation


California has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the nation. People got upset when the registration fee was going to be raised just a bit. Politically, raising the gas tax further is a non starter.

Revising Proposition 13 makes more sense. It is past time that the people who had their property taxes frozen for 30 years and who got their kids education paid for by others contribute to a balanced budget and a more secure future for all Californians, especially when their property values have quadrupled even in this market.


Changing Prop. 13 won't address California's balance of payments.


Could you be more cryptic? Nations have balance of payments, not states.


Do you think US states, like nations, don't become richer if they accumulate capital, and poorer if they lose it?

California's issue is more than just its government, it's where money goes. Money going for oil is largely money lost both to the state and nation both (I know some of it stays at home; I've seen the pumpjacks working in Huntington Beach). Taxing gasoline cuts the money flow out of the state and shifts consumption toward in-state goods; taxing property is no help at all.

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