Governor Asked to Investigate Alaska's High Gas Prices
BY MARY KAUFFMAN
September 08 2015
“Alaska’s high cost of living is only exasperated by the high cost of gasoline, diesel and heating fuel,” said Rep. Kawasaki. “Alaskans deserve a clear answer to why such an oil rich state has the highest gas prices in the country. The high cost of energy is putting a damper on our economy just when we need to give it some air.”
Rep. Kawasaki represents one of the most heating fuel dependent regions in Alaska and he’s a prime sponsor of House Bill 37, which seeks to deter price gouging for gasoline and heating fuel.
In Friday’s letter, Rep. Kawasaki notes that in 2007 when oil was priced at $78 dollars a barrel the price of gasoline was just $2.40 a gallon. However, today oil prices are hovering below $50 dollars a barrel but gasoline is still priced well over $3.30 a gallon.
“It curious that when oil prices go up the price for gas also goes up but when oil prices fall we don’t see that same decrease in gas prices,” said Rep. Kawasaki. “Gas prices that do not reflect the trends seen in the lower 48 states are intolerable for Alaskan consumers and deserves a thorough investigation.”
Rep. Kawasaki is asking the administration of Governor Walker to prepare a report and recommendations for the Alaska Legislature as soon as practicable on the gas price issue.
According to gasoline price website GasBuddy's daily survey of 398 gas outlets in Alaska, average retail gasoline prices in Alaska have fallen 5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.32 per gallon on September 8, 2015. This compares with the national average that has fallen 6.1 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.39 per gall, according to GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices statewide in Alaska during the past week, prices Sunday were 64.9 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 13.9 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 20.2 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 103.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
In the Ketchikan Borough, the average gas price according to GasBuddy is $3.50 per gallon. On Prince of Wales, the average gas price per gallon is reported to be $3.32 as of September 08, 2015. The price per gallon in the Ketchikan Borough and in the City of Ketchikan also includes a sales tax.
"Not only did Labor Day weekend see millions of Americans take to the road and spend far less than they did last year at the pump, but a growing number of them were able to fill up at under $2 per gallon for the summer's last hurrah," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst. "Better than one in ten stations in the country now offer gasoline prices at $1.99 per gal or less, and gas prices in 48 of the nation's 50 states fell in the run-up to the holiday itself, showing that holiday's aren't always a catalyst for price increases. The Midwest led the biggest decliners, again, and prices in some of these states now stand a staggering dollar per gallon lower than they were just last month after the BP refinery issue led to spikes, a stunning and quick reversal. As we begin to near the terminus for summer gasoline, I expect prices to continue moving lower, with our projections aiming at a sub-$2 per gal average by Christmas- or perhaps even earlier, " DeHaan said.
According to GasBuddy, Hawaii's average gas price is $3.05 per gallon. The regular gas price is down 4.4 cents from last week's average of $3.09 per gallong and down 17.1 cent from last month's average of $3.12 per gallon. Prices in Hawaii are down 122.2 cents from last year's average of $4.27 per gallon.
According the the AAA, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Honolulu is $2.87, compared to $4.22 a year ago. The reason? Crude oil prices have plunged from more than 100 dollars a barrel a year ago to about 46 dollars today.
On the Web:
Source of News: