Gasoline prices have risen steadily in the past six weeks through March 18. There was an uptick in gas prices in 37 of the past 38 days, and gas is now more expensive than at any point in the past six months.
In a number of states, the price of gas is now more than $3.75 per gallon, versus $3.52 nationwide, with gas prices in several other states not far behind. In Hawaii, the price of gas is $4.17 per gallon. Here, as in a number of states, the high price of gas reflects the difficulties involved in transporting oil and refined products to the state. Based on data from AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, these are the 10 states with the highest average gasoline prices.
In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Michael Green, public relations manager at AAA, said that seasonal factors played a major role in the recent run-up in gas prices. “Refinery maintenance, the switchover to summer blend gasoline, and more-recently rising demand,” have all played a role in the rise of gas prices, Green told 24/7 Wall St.
Differences in regional gas prices are in part the result of where a state is located. “The closer you are to a refinery, generally means you’ll pay less at the pump,” Green said. Hawaii may be the most notable example of this. Gas prices in the state are usually the highest in America, due in part to the costs of transporting gasoline there. Similarly, states in the Northeast often pay higher prices due to their distance from oil-producing and refining states.
Because of their location, many states often import more expensive oil from abroad. “Refineries along the West Coast and Northeast generally buy higher priced Brent crude oil from overseas,” Green said. Eventually, these higher prices are passed on to the consumer, who ends up paying more at the pump.
Taxes often affect the price of gasoline as well. Of the 10 states with the nation’s highest gas prices, all but two levy among the 10 highest gas taxes. Residents in California, New York, Connecticut and Hawaii pay the most in both gas prices and gas taxes. California charges drivers more than 52 cents per gallon in state taxes alone.
To determine the states with the highest gasoline prices, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed statewide average fuel prices as of March 18 from AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. We also reviewed the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2013 Refinery Capacity Report, which breaks out production capacity and the number of operable refineries by state. Capacity figures cited are from January 2013 and reflect the number of barrels of oil that operating refineries can reasonably be expected to produce in a calendar day. Also from the EIA, we reviewed figures on total oil production by state for 2013. Finally, we looked at gas taxes per state from the American Petroleum Institute, which are current as of January 2014.
These are the states with the highest gas prices.