Pittsburgh region not thankful for higher gas prices
Folks in the Pittsburgh region gassing up for Thanksgiving travel will be paying much more for a gallon of gas than the rest of the country.
As of Monday afternoon, the average price of a gallon of gas around the region was $3.64 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com — a website that tracks gas prices. That's more than 20 cents higher than the national average price of $3.34 per gallon.
Kent Moors, a political science professor at Duquesne University who heads The Energy Policy Research Group, said the region has a couple of unique circumstances that cause its gas prices to be so much higher than the national average.
“First, it's how high the taxes on gas are in the state,” he said of the almost 31 cents the state adds to every gallon of gas — one of the highest gas taxes in the country. “Secondly, it's the distance that Western Pennsylvania is away from refineries.
“Western Pennsylvania is farther from a refinery than anywhere else in the country,” Moors said. “There's just insufficient refining capacity to help the area.”
The Energy Policy Research Group is a research unit that provides data and analysis about current energy policy.
According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of gas has fallen 40 cents since October. But the Pittsburgh area has experienced only about half that drop.
Moors said the closing of three refineries in the eastern part of the state added to Western Pennsylvania's problems but could help in the long term.
“As we start to get gas from the Midwest, we could see prices lower a bit,” he said. “They are able to obtain certain synthetic oils from Canada that are able to be discounted.
“The more we start moving to Midwestern refineries, it will improve retail.”
Other than getting gas from Midwestern refineries, there isn't much that can be done to lower the price of gas in the Pittsburgh region, Moors said.
“We're kind of stuck in a geographic anomaly,” he said.
AAA estimates that about 39 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home by car for the holiday from Wednesday to Sunday.
For folks planning to leave the state for the holiday, they may want to wait to cross the border before filling up. In Cleveland, an average gallon of gas is selling for $3.45. Gas is going for $3.36 a gallon in Baltimore, and $3.52 a gallon in Wheeling.
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- QB Vick hits ground running in debut
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- Pennsylvania welfare employees targeted in crackdown
- Pitt’s cancer institute marks 30 years with eye toward future
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers
- Patience serves as virtue amid pitching prospect Glasnow’s quest for majors
- Hackers have wide reach