Local, National Gas Prices on the Rise
According to national gas price tracker GasBuddy, the national average price of gasoline is up for the eighth straight week, rising 4.8 cents in the last week to stand at $2.75 per gallon, the highest level in 149 days.
Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, says the rise in prices is due to a surge in unexpected refinery outages on the west coast, leading to a lean supply and rising prices.
“Expect the rise to continue for a ninth straight week with little good news on the horizon,” DeHann said in a recent release.
Pennsylvania’s average price continues to rank among some of the highest. At an average of $2.993 per gallon, Pennsylvania’s gas prices were topped only by a handful of western states, including Arizona ($3.021), Oregon ($3.256), Nevada ($3.316), Washington ($3.369), and California ($4.002).
The current average price in Pennsylvania is up 4.7 cents from last weeks’ average of $2.922, and up 20.9 cents from last month’s average of $2.760. The higher prices come in part due to having the highest level of taxes and fees on gas in the nation.
According to API Energy, Pennsylvanians pay total state taxes and fees of 58.70 cents per gallon. Add that to the federal excise taxes on gasoline (18.40 cents per gallon) and your total taxes and fees come out to 77.10 cents per gallon.
In comparison, the next closest state for taxes and fees is California, where residents currently pay 54.36 cents per gallon in state taxes and fees, then Washington with total state taxes and fees of 49.40 cents per gallon. Even New York falls flat in comparison, paying just 44.10 cents per gallon in state taxes and fees.
Nevertheless, we find states like Missouri, where the state taxes and fees total just 17.35 cents per gallon, and New Mexico, with state fees and taxes totaling 18.88 cents per gallon.
Locally, our region also has some of the highest prices in the state, with Clarion County currently averaging $3.067, Venango County at $3.087, and Jefferson County leading the way with the highest average gas prices in the state at $3.179, even higher than Philadelphia County, where the average is $3.132.
Looking further out into the surrounding area, the prices range a bit more widely, but still, mostly remain above the $3 threshold:
- Warren $3.099
- Crawford $3.099
- Mercer $2.959
- Butler $3.032
- Armstrong $3.064
- Indiana $3.057
- Clearfield $3.052
- Elk $2.969
- Forest $2.969
While the current prices are rising, they still have a long way to go to reach the highest recorded average for the state, which occurred on June 18, 2008, when the average price rose to $4.052 per gallon.
On the other end of the spectrum, just six months after that peak, Pennsylvania saw the lowest prices in a decade with the average price bottoming out at $1.649 per gallon on January 2, 2009.
In comparison, the lowest price for the state so far this year was $2.446 in early January, while last year’s low fell to $2.474 on December 31.
Don’t expect to see prices in that range anytime soon, though.
According to GasBuddy, gas prices are likely to continue slowly marching higher in most of the nation, with peak gasoline prices still a few weeks away as the transition to cleaner gasoline and refinery maintenance season continues.
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