Gas prices soar in California as supply limited by refinery woes

Energy Associated Press

Gas prices are soaring in California the week after an explosion stopped gasoline production at a key refinery.

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Retail gas prices in California have surged 25 cents a gallon since Monday.

One chain of independently owned stations in Santa Clara boosted prices 20 cents per gallon on Friday alone to hit $3.19 for regular.

The uptick comes because of a Feb. 18 explosion at the Exxon Mobil Corp. oil refinery in Torrance.

The blast took gas production offline there at the same time that another refinery in Northern California is also down.

The two refineries together produce 17 percent of the state's gasoline.

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California can't easily import gasoline from other states because of strict environmental laws that mandate a specialized blend of fuel.