Special Report

States With the Highest Gas Prices

10. Vermont
> Price per gallon:
$2.54
> Operable refineries, 2014: None
> Refining capacity (barrels per day): N/A
> Total state and federal tax per gallon: 50.37 cents (13th highest)

The average cost of regular gasoline is $2.54 per gallon in Vermont, the 10th highest price nationwide. Vermont’s excise tax on gasoline of 12.10 cents per gallon is lower than the national average rate of 20.64 cents. An additional 19.87 cents per gallon is levied in Vermont, the fifth highest non-excise gas tax rate. The relatively high taxes partly account for the higher gas prices in the state. Since Vermont is not located near any large production facilities, which are found predominantly in the western and midwestern United States, the cost of transporting fuel to the state also explains the high prices. The majority of other high gas price states had relatively high unemployment rates in 2013. However, just 4.4% of Vermont’s workforce was unemployed in 2013, nearly the lowest rate among states.

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9. Connecticut
> Price per gallon:
$2.55
> Operable refineries, 2014: None
> Refining capacity (barrels per day): N/A
> Total state and federal tax per gallon: 61.62 cents (5th highest)

Connecticut spends more than all but seven other states on its roads. The state also taxes its drivers more than all but four other states. In 2012, the state spent $478,281 per mile of state-controlled highways, more than three times the national average of $158,783 per mile. As a result, residents pay among the highest gasoline prices in the nation. Connecticut drivers pay 43.2 cents per gallon in state gasoline taxes compared with a national average of 29.89 cents. The state’s taxes pushed the average price of gas up to $2.55 per gallon, about 10 cents higher than the national average price. Connecticut drivers bought 1.44 billion gallons of gasoline in 2013 to drive about 30.9 billion miles, a rate of about 21.5 miles per gallon compared with a national rate of 22.1.

8. Pennsylvania
> Price per gallon:
$2.62
> Operable refineries, 2014: 4 (9th highest)
> Refining capacity (barrels per day): 596,000 (6th highest)
> Total state and federal tax per gallon: 68.9 cents (the highest)

While Pennsylvania voted in 2013 to eliminate its excise tax on gasoline and diesel, other state taxes and fees on motor fuels add more than 50 cents to gas prices per gallon in the state. Combined with the federal gas tax, Pennsylvania drivers pay nearly 70 cents per gallon in gas taxes, or 26.3% of the total average price. Often, high gas prices can be the result of low oil refinement in a state. This was not the case in Pennsylvania, where nearly 600,000 barrels of oil were refined per day in 2014, the sixth highest production rate in the country and up only slightly from 2013. Still, in-state oil refinement was likely unable to keep pace with the state’s gasoline consumption, as residents purchased more than 5 billion gallons of gasoline in 2013.