Gas prices tumble in some US cities, not so much in others

Nov 21, 2022, 2:57 PM

The disparity in gas prices, both across Utah and the United States, has to do with supply, demand,...

FILE: Gas prices are posted at Shop N Save on State Street and 1300 South in Salt Lake City on Monday, July 18, 2022. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s not much consistency in Utah or across the nation when it comes to the price at the gas pump. 

For example, Triple-A reports that people in Texas are currently paying $2.95 for a gallon of regular. But some in California are paying well over $5.

In an example from Utah, Triple-A said people are paying $3.70 a gallon in Sevier County, while those in neighboring Garfield County are paying at least $4.40 a gallon.

The universal good news is that, overall, prices are almost a dollar less than they were six months ago. It’s just that prices in some states like Texas, are dropping faster than others.

Currently, Triple-A reports the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Utah is $3.95 a gallon.

There are four reasons for the disparity:

  • supply and demand,
  • taxes,
  • fuel blends, and
  • profit margins.

All gas stations must charge $.18 in federal tax which is added to various state and local fees. Some states require unique fuel blends which are more expensive. Finally each store is trying to maximize their profit margins. 

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) reports that California requires a “complex fuel blend” which adds to the gas costs in that state.

Even profits can vary widely according to the NACS, and takes into account store location, fuel type, and nearby competition. 

In general, the average profit margin on a gallon of gas is about $.10 cents according to the NACS.

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Gas prices tumble in some US cities, not so much in others