Release of 'winter-blend' gas could reduce Calif. prices
SAN FRANCISCO - 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.