Special Report

States With the Highest Gas Prices

10. Pennsylvania
> Price per gallon: $3.64
> Barrels produced, 2013: 5.4 million (19th most)
> Refining capacity (barrels per day): 595,000 (6th most)
> Tax per gallon: 41.8 cents (5th highest)

At the start of 2013, Pennsylvania had four operating refineries capable of producing nearly 600,000 barrels per day. Despite this, the state has some of the highest gas prices in the nation, with gasoline running $3.64 a gallon in Pennsylvania, versus $3.52 a gallon nationwide. Limited access to cheap crude and high taxes may be factors contributing to the relatively high gas prices. As of January, Pennsylvania residents paid 41.8 cents per gallon in state taxes, on average, fifth highest nationwide. The exact amount state residents pay in taxes is determined by wholesale prices for liquid fuels.

9. Maine
> Price per gallon: $3.64
> Barrels produced, 2013: N/A
> Refining capacity (barrels per day): N/A
> Tax per gallon: 30.0 cents (19th highest)

Unlike most of the states where drivers pay the most for gas, Maine’s gasoline taxes are relatively in line with the rest of the nation. Likely contributing to the high gas prices in Maine is the state’s distance from much of the nation’s oil infrastructure. The United States has no operable refineries east of New Jersey, and many of the petroleum products that go to Maine are delivered either by boat or from across the border in Canada. In addition to gasoline, much of the population relies on fuel oil to heat their residences during the winter. The state is also “particularly vulnerable to distillate fuel oil shortages and price spikes,” according to the EIA.

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8. Indiana
> Price per gallon: $3.66
> Barrels produced, 2013: 2.4 million (23rd most)
> Refining capacity (barrels per day): 192,100 (16th most)
> Tax per gallon: 38.7 cents (8th highest)

Drivers in Indiana pay some of the nation’s highest gas taxes — amounting to 38.7 cents per gallon on average in state taxes alone as of January. Following the national trend, the state’s gas prices are lower than last year. Still, Indiana prices are among the highest in the nation, at $3.66. Indiana is home to BP’s Whiting Refinery, one of the largest in the nation. A critical part of the refinery is said to currently be undergoing maintenance for the next several weeks, which may in turn temporarily contribute to higher gas prices.

7. Michigan
> Price per gallon: $3.72
> Barrels produced, 2013: 7.8 million (16th most)
> Refining capacity (barrels per day): 120,000 (24th most)
> Tax per gallon: 39.1 cents (tied for 6th highest)

Gas prices in Michigan have improved slightly since reaching a high of $4.20 per gallon last year, but drivers in the state are still feeling the pain at the pump. The Marathon Oil Company Detroit Refinery became the state’s only refinery in 2005, when the Alma Refinery closed. Prices might have been even higher had the refinery not recently made changes that allow it to refine Canadian crude oil. Drivers are not helped by the fact that they must pay, on average, 39 cents per gallon in taxes, the sixth highest in the country.

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6. Illinois
> Price per gallon: $3.76
> Barrels produced, 2013: 9.5 million (15th most)
> Refining capacity (barrels per day): 930,100 (4th most)
> Tax per gallon: 39.1 cents (tied for 6th highest)

Illinois residents currently pay $3.76 per gallon of gas, with prices reaching more than $3.90 per gallon in the Chicago metro area. Gas prices in the state may be the result of several factors, including the state’s relatively high gasoline taxes. Drivers pay an extra 39.1 cents per gallon of gasoline in state taxes, more than all but a handful of other states in the country. Prices, too, may have risen due to maintenance work at BP’s Whiting, Indiana, refinery, which is located close to Chicago and is one of the nation’s largest refineries.