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Consumer Watchdog: California Drivers Getting Gouged At The Gas Pump

SANTA MONICA ( — Gas prices may be dipping this week, but California drivers continue to pay much more than the rest of the country, according to a watchdog group.

"The Golden State is getting gouged," Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said at a news conference Wednesday. "Californians are now paying $1.30 in L.A. above what the rest of America is paying for their gas."

The price increase isn't about California's summer blend, but rather, bigger profits, Court said.

The Consumer Watchdog group says since the gas price spike began six months ago, Californians have paid $4.8 billion more for regular gas than the rest of the country, which amounts to about $200 more for every California driver.

Consumer Watchdog has joined forces with businessman Tom Steyer to bring more attention to the problem and demand change.

"The oil refiners are making historic profits and they're shipping gasoline out of California to foreign countries at a time when they're reporting shortage here at home," Steyer said.

Steyer says he wants the legislature to address the problem.

In a statement, Western States Petroleum Association said Consumer Watchdog and Steyer continue to wage a campaign of misinformation.

"…volatility is likely to be a feature of California fuel markets for many years to come as the state continues to adopt increasingly stringent regulations that further isolate California from other fuel markets," the statement said.

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