Wednesday's flareup at the Tesoro refinery in Martinez, reportedly caused by a PG&E electricity outage, will result in higher wholesale gasoline prices in the San Francisco area.
Yesterday, all five of the refinery's flares, which act as safety valves, began shooting flames after electricity failed. This dusted the northeast Bay Area with black smoke. Operators shut the refinery down and then restarted when PG&E power was restored later that evening. The reduced output was sufficient to push San Francisco wholesale gasoline prices up eight cents per gallon, Reuters reported.
Retail gas prices, which hovered a few cents above $3
in San Francisco Thursday, don't necessarily jump immediately following a wholesale spike. But according to this chart from the U.S. Energy Information Administration
, pump prices march fairly closely behind the spot price:
So if you've got an hour to spare this morning, fill 'er up! But please, please, in the name of all that's good: Use good judgment when patronizing the Fell Street Arco
. Lines there create a deadly situation where commuting cyclists are forced to veer around backed up customers into speeding Fell Street traffic.