Release of 'winter-blend' gas could reduce prices

Release of 'winter-blend' gas could reduce prices

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A man pumps gas into his vehicle at a gas station in Monterey Park, Los Angeles County, on October 5, 2012 in California. The average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County recorded what is believed to be the largest single-day increase today, its highest amount since July 12, 2008, rising 19.2 cents to $4.539 a gallon, according to the California News Service, with the average price increasing by more than 1 cent on each of the past seven days, including 8.8 cents on October 4 and 5.8 cents on October 3. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages)

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Associated Press

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 12:58 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- State air pollution regulators say they do not expect California's air quality to worsen appreciably after the governor ordered the release of a dirtier blend of gasoline to help slash record-high pump prices.

The California Air Resources Board on Monday said the last time the state made an early shift to so-called "winter-blend" gasoline was in 2005, in response to supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina.

AAA said the average price for a gallon of regular hit $4.668 Monday in California -- the highest price in the nation.

Officials said it could take days before prices fall, depending on how quickly refineries can get the winter-blend fuel to market.

California usually converts to the gas on Oct. 31. The fuel evaporates in heat more quickly than summer-blends.

A fuel's evaporation rate indicates how much raw fuel enters the environment, especially in warm weather.

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