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Lawmakers Scrambling For Solutions To Gas Crisis

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — As California continues to set record-high gas prices across the nation, drivers are struggling to keep up with the cost.

"It's insane, it's gnarly," said Eric Gonzales after he dropped $90 to fill up his Chevrolet Camaro.

The state's gas prices jumped 13 cents overnight continuing California's dominating streak of being the most expensive place in the country to fill up your tank. In some areas, like Studio City, super-unleaded gas is $6.89.

Mobil Gas Station
(Credit: CBSLA)

"If it keeps going up I don't know if we can survive," said customer Gidi.

Experts said that there is no relief in sight predicting that prices will continue to rise as the conflict in Ukraine continues and west coast oil refineries run out of Russian oil.

"The global oil market is much like the stock market, it does not like volatility," said AAA spokesperson Doug Shupe.

In addition to the ban on Russian oil and an increase of demand that happens every spring as people go on vacations, companies have began to transition to the more expensive summer fuel blend.

"Unfortunately, it's like this perfect storm for this just explosion in gas prices at the pump," said Shupe. "We know this is a very difficult time for drivers because they're also dealing with other increases in prices for goods and services."

The gas crisis has caused lawmakers like Gov. Gavin Newsom to think of ideas to ease the burden on Californians. During his State of the State address, Newsom touted a tax rebate to Californians but failed to expand on details like how much it would be and who was eligible for it. He also pushed for a pause in the Gas Tax increase set for July. Currently, the Gas Tax sits at 51 cents per gallon.

"I think this is very smart," said Loyola Law Professor Jessica Levinson. "I think the Governor knows people  vote based on their pocketbooks."

However, the A0ssembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins released a joint statement opposing the idea.

"Instead, the Legislature will seek tax relief from the General Fund. This can avoid taking critical funds away from road repair and improvement, while fully protecting Proposition 98 funding for schools," they wrote.

Experts caution lawmakers on how they decide to offer relief.

"If gas prices remain this high it'll be very difficult for any politician to say 'Not only we are keeping taxes, not only are we not giving rebates, we're gonna increase taxes,'" said Levinson. "This is one of those issues people get really angry about."

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