Hurricane Harvey may drive gas prices higher around the country, but not in California

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As much of the nation is bracing for higher gas prices because of Hurricane Harvey, experts say California may not feel the impact. But, some Bay Area residents already think they're seeing the effects.

"So many of the refineries and so much of the oil production is in Texas, the area impacted by the hurricane, it is going to affect the supply," motorist Derek Bailey said.

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A jump at the pump could be likely anywhere from a nickel to 25 cents a gallon or more nationwide. But, we won't see the impact in California, according to Severin Borenstein, of U.C. Berkeley's Haas School of Business. He points out that California has a unique state mandated cleaner burning gasoline that is not tied to Texas or the rest of the country.

"And usually that's bad news because we have higher prices and get in trouble when California's refineries go off line, but in this case its good news because we are less likely to be affected by the outages in the Texas refineries," Borenstein said.

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Demitrous Sims thinks something else may be at play for the big jump he saw between Sunday and Monday.

"I sometimes think the gas companies use disasters as a way for making profits," Sims said.

Obviously any pain we might feel at the pump is nothing compared to the suffering in Texas. The Western States Petroleum Association is helping colleagues in the lone star state where refineries are closed.

"Hopefully we're able to bring these facilities back on line and supplies will begin flowing. But, that being said, we're a diverse industry and we'll be looking to other locations to make sure we can source those needs," Catherine Reheis-Boyd said.

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