Good old supply and demand. In California, home of several large oil refineries, I just paid $3.05/91 octane at a Chevron Station.
When I drive to Santa Fe, New Mexico, gas is considerably cheaper throughout my whole route (I-40 to I-25). Except for some truly out of the way places around the MOjave Desert, gas is fairly cheap. Even in Santa Fe, which tends to be pricier in most htings, gas is still cheaper than in So. Calif.
Damned supply and demand.
BTW, thanks for your advice inthe "Painting question" thread. I may just do that. For the most part the paint is thick and glossy. The car does not have clear coat and, in So. Calif, that is a blessing. The sun and the smog here eat through clearcoats.