SPOKANE, Wash. — Millions of people across the country are expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend. Traveling will be a little easier in 2023 with gas prices averaging over a dollar less than what it was in 2022.
However, many drivers are still feeling it when they have to fill up their tanks. Spokane is still nearly a full dollar higher than the national average. In Idaho, prices are still thirty cents above the national average.
KREM 2 spoke with GasBuddy to find out why there is such a big difference in price between two states that are just a handful of minutes apart. Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, Patrick De Haan said, “Washington State now has a carbon tax. It has special gasoline, and the west coast is also a but of an island when it comes to refineries.”
The combination of the carbon tax as well as a high general tax on gasoline is what is pushing prices so much higher than the national average.
According to De Haan, location also plays a major role in price as well. Idaho doesn’t depend on the same sources as Washington for gasoline. They also don’t have a carbon tax or high gasoline taxes. De Haan said, “That is why if you’re hitting the road this summer no matter if it’s crossing into Idaho or other states like Montana. Be aware of those state lines because you can see bug fluctuations between what prices are in one state versus another.”
De Haan told KREM 2 that he expects some type of relief at the pumps later this summer. He said gas transportation from the refineries that our region relies on should see improvement which should ultimately help lower prices.
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