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While National Average Gas Prices Drop, Bay Area Prices Remain Higher

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- While the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by 5 cents to $4.19 over the past week, Bay Area drivers are still paying $1.66 more a gallon than the rest of the country.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration, an increase in the total domestic gasoline stock combined with a drop in demand helped nudge prices downward, according to AAA. If demand continues to decline as gasoline stocks continue to build, the national average will likely continue to move lower. The U.S. said Thursday it will release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

As of Sunday, the average price in California for a gallon of regular gas was $5.85.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, current average regular gas prices and month-over-month increases are as follows in these metro areas: Oakland, $5.83, up .85 cents; San Francisco and San Jose, $5.90, up about .85; San Rafael, $5.87, up .78; Santa Cruz, $5.80, up .90 cents; Santa Rosa, $5.86, up .78; Stockton, $5.69, up .89 (though currently ranking as the 10th least expensive region in California); and Vallejo, $5.75, up .80.

The cheapest gas in the state can be found in the Hanford area, $5.57 for a gallon of regular.

The global oil market remains highly volatile, so additional news that threatens supply could put upward pressure on oil prices, AAA said.

In March, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his gas rebate plan, which would send Californians who own cars up to $800 from the state to help offset record high gas prices.

Registered owners would get $400 per vehicle, capped at two vehicles. People who own electric vehicles or others that don't use gasoline would qualify. But most businesses with fleets of vehicles would not be eligible.

For people who don't have cars, Newsom wants the state to pay for their bus or train fare for three months. His proposal would give $750 million to transit and rail agencies, which Newsom said would be enough to give free rides to 3 million people per day.

Another $600 million would pay for a "pause" for part of the state sales tax on diesel fuel for one year, plus an other $523 million to halt a scheduled increase in the state's gas tax this summer.

Newsom says the rebates would cost the state about $9 billion.

© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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