Gas prices in California have soared to the point where some fueling stations are charging more than the federal minimum wage for a gallon of regular.
Several gas stations scattered throughout the state, including the Bay Area, Southern California, and the Yosemite region, are charging at least $ 7.25 for a gallon of fuel, according to the Gas Buddy website.
The consumer site listed gas stations in several locations, including Los Angeles, Menlo Park, Bridgeport, and Lee Vining, where fuel has surpassed the benchmark.
The federal minimum hourly wage of $ 7.25 per hour has been unchanged since 2009, when it was raised from $ 6.55 per hour.
California residents are subject to state law which mandates that the minimum wage be set at $ 14 per hour.
As of Tuesday, Californians were paying the highest gas prices in the country, according to AAA.
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the Golden State stood at $ 6.07 – well above the national average of $ 4.60.
Gas has become so expensive in California that Sacramento police offered $ 50 gift cards for fuel as part of a “gas for guns” buyback program that generated an overwhelming response from the public.
The Sacramento Police Department announced on its Facebook page that it managed to get 134 guns off the streets on Saturday as residents were offered the chance to turn in the weapons “with no questions asked and no identification required.”
More than 100 people were given $ 50 gas gift cards as part of the “Gas for Guns Buyback” plan – a welcome relief for motorists in the Golden State, where the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded stood at $ 6.07.
The police department ran out of gas gift cards within 45 minutes of an event that was originally slated to last around five hours, KTXL-TV reported.
Tight supply coupled with soaring demand have sent energy prices skyrocketing in recent months.
Demand is expected to increase even further as Americans take to the roads during the warm weather seasons.
An estimated 34.9 million Americans are expected to make trips by car of 50 or more miles for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend – an increase of 4.6% compared to last year.
The US crude oil benchmark hit $ 109.66 per barrel on Tuesday morning. Surging fuel costs are a key factor driving the decades-high inflation, which hit 8.3% in April, according to Consumer Price Index data.
JPMorgan analysts have warned the national average could hit $ 6 per gallon by the end of the summer unless conditions improve. American families are reportedly spending at a rate of $ 5,000 per year just to fill up their gas tanks.