Due to its California Air Resources Board and the regulations imposed by it, Californians pay a premium at the pump to every state that's not named Alaska. One might wonder why California is able to enforce these standards; it's because the state-run organization was already in place before the Clean Air Act was passed. Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency is trying to enact the low sulfur and nitrogen oxide standards throughout the country, but there has been some pushback.
Is there any help on the horizon?
Those who call California home are certainly hoping so. Increased infrastructure to get cheaper Bakken formation and other mid-continent oil to the West Coast is likely to begin appearing in 2014. One of the state's biggest refiners, Tesoro (NYSE:ANDV), plans on increasing rail capacity to ports on the coast where it can then ship the cheaper, lighter oil to its refineries throughout the state. Couple this with pipeline expansions in Canada, and some, not total, relief could be in sight.