About a week ago TNR ran an article noting that the Shumlin Administration is calling for new gas taxes amidst rising concern over high gas prices here in Vermont. Such a move is akin to throwing gasoline on a fire that people want put out. WCAX carried an article yesterday that raised the question of why our gas prices are rising:
Filling up in Burlington could cost you $3.82 a gallon.
“When it’s empty I have to fill it,” said Michael Knight, a motorist.
And in Montpelier some drivers are handing over $3.63.
If you feel like you’ve seen gas prices jump dramatically across Vermont this week– you’re right.
“This week alone one of the branded racks went up 21 cents a gallon,” said Joe Choquette of the Vermont Petroleum Association.
Thursday, we took viewer frustrations about the rapid rise at many Green Mountain pumps to Choquette.
“The price of crude oil has been on the rise since early November, but wholesale prices in our part of the world haven’t followed. So, now that rapid increase in the price of crude oil is now being reflected on the street,” he said.
It’s an explanation that’s not sitting well with skeptics.
“I don’t buy it. No, no, I don’t,” said Robin Gomez of Marshfield.
“Hard to know, hard to know,” said Don Pierce, a Montpelier driver. “As you know, all the different gas stations have different prices and they sort of follow each other.”
Choquette says different terminals with different prices and in some cases different products explain what’s behind a wide range of per-gallon costs around Vermont and across the country.
“Different areas of the country refine different kinds and grades of crude oil, and the grades that are refined in the West and the Midwest have been abundant,” Choquette said.
It’s little relief back at home for folks who are tired of the explanations and want to pay less.
“It’s tough, but you’ve got to put gas in the car to go some place, so, and you got to work,” Gomez said.
You may just have to put in a few more hours on the clock to get there.
Too bad equal curiosity is not being expressed over the Shumlin Administration’s proposal to throw gasoline on this fire.