(10-10-12) Bloomberg reports that "gasoline closing in on a record $5 a gallon prompted Governor Jerry Brown to direct California regulators to relax smog controls so oil refineries could increase supplies of cheaper fuel...
"The California Air Resources Board yesterday granted refineries permission to make an early shift to winter-blend gasoline, typically not sold until after Oct. 31. Due to the composition of the gasoline, refiners can produce more of the winter blend than the summer blend." (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-08/california-facing-5-gasoline-stirs-brown-to-relax-rules.html)
The rise in California gas prices, however, is a one-off event due to refinery shut down. The price of gas in California two weeks from now will be where they were two weeks ago and Brown was just making a political move.
People who are smart enough to know what a barrel of crude oil was compared to the price of gas at the pump understand what adds so much to the price of a gallon of gasoline.