We have the priciest gas in the lower 48 states.
The average price for self-service regular today is $3.794 statewide (and even higher in the Triangle, $3.841), according to fuelgaugereport.com.
That’s 31.4 cents more than the national average. A month ago, North Carolinians were buying gas for $3.659 (and then we were about a penny BELOW the national average).
Why so high? With world oil prices falling sharply, why are our gas prices falling only slowly?
Hurricane Ike is still hurting us, and our southeastern neighbors in South Carolina and Georgia. The two Gulf refinery pipelines that deliver most of our gas have returned to full production, but a lot of retailers still aren’t getting their full supplies.
“We get the vast majority of our gas from those two pipelines,” says Carol Gifford of AAA Carolinas. “When that source was very reduced for two weeks, prices were kept higher because retailers were looking at alternate ways of getting gasoline.
“They were trucking it in from other states or trucking it in from the ports, and that was a more expensive way of getting gasoline. It kept our prices as high as they were and still are.”
Over the past month, while average prices FELL 18.5 cents nationwide, they ROSE by:
- 13.5 cents in North Carolina
- 15.9 cents in Georgia (with today’s #2 price in the lower 48 states, $3.768) and
- 14.2 cents in South Carolina (a distant #3 today with its average $3.667).
Meanwhile, North Carolina's gas tax is high — but not THAT high compared to other states: a combined state and federal 48.6 cents per gallon.
The American Petroleum Institute says motorists pay 0.2 cents more here than the national average tax — but less here than in 14 other states. (California has the top tax at 67.1 cents, and usually some of the most expensive gas. Today’s Golden State average price is a sunny $3.587.)