Newsom calls for early release of winter-blend amid soaring gas prices

As gas prices continue to soar in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the California Air Resource Board to ramp up production and release the winter-blend gasoline early. 

The governor sent a letter to the board Friday saying in part, "In light of the dramatic increase in gas prices that California is experiencing, we should not wait until the end of the month to start distributing or to ramp up production of our winter-blend gasoline. Allowing refiners to make an early transition to winter-blend gasoline could quickly increase fuel supply and provide a much-needed safety valve with minimal air quality impacts."

According to the governor, California refiners are required to produce a summer-blend gasoline through October and after October 31 a winter-blend gasoline is allowed. 

In the letter he said some refiners have already begun producing and storing winter-blend gasoline.

The governor is also calling for a new windfall tax exclusively on oil companies. 

"They are ripping you off. Their record profits are coming at your expense at the pump," the governor said. 

Drivers could see a savings of up to 25 cents per gallon within the next two weeks. 

Starting next week, millions of Californians will receive up to $1,050 in tax refunds to help offset the high cost of gas.  

RELATED: LA County average gas price records largest increase since 2015

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose Friday for the 28th consecutive day, increasing 12.2 cents to $6.383, moving within 7.9 cents of the record high of $6.462 set June 14.

The average price has increased $1.137 over the past 28 days, including 15.3 cents Thursday, its largest daily increase since the record 19.2- cent hike on Oct. 5, 2012, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price is at its highest amount since June 23 and 76.8 cents more than one week ago, $1.115 higher than one month ago, and $1.973 greater than one year ago.

"This week saw the most significant gas price increases since they jumped 77 cents in one week in March," said Doug Shupe, the Automobile Club of Southern California's corporate communications manager. "Until the state receives significant amounts of imported gasoline and local refineries are fully operational again, we will likely continue to see pump price increases."

The national average price rose for the 10th consecutive day following a 98-day streak of decreases totaling $1.342, increasing 1.5 cents to $3.797. It has risen 12.3 cents over the past 10 days, including 1.7 cents Thursday.

The national average price is 10.8 cents more than one week ago and 60.8 cents higher than one year ago but 4.7 cents less than one month ago.

City News Service contributed to this report