Gas prices are rising right now, and it’s hard to see an end in sight. However, long-haul truckers may have noticed that gas prices are significantly lower in some states compared to others. What is the reason for this? And which states have the lowest prices? Let’s explore the reasons for lower gas prices in some areas and where these areas are.
Why Do Some States Have Cheaper Gas?
There are two significant reasons why gas prices differ from state to state: state taxes and proximity to oil refineries and pipelines.
Crude oil prices are the same in every state. What makes the price difference is the cost to distribute that gas to various states and the taxes placed on top of those gas prices.
Whether crude oil is imported into the U.S. or produced domestically, it then moves to a refinery, where it is made into gasoline and other petroleum-based products. We then use a pipeline to carry the gasoline to large storage terminals before it moves to smaller blending terminals. This is where it becomes the motor gasoline that you put into your car. From here, trucks have to deliver it to gas stations.
You can see how proximity to these refineries becomes essential. Fewer refineries operate on the West Coast– that’s why you’ll see high gas prices in states like California, Oregon, and Washington. It’s not a simple task to build an oil refinery. They’re expensive to build and harsh on the environment, making it often unpopular to build create ones. Factoring in the hindrance of mountains to the pipelines and building on the West Coast becomes far more complex.
Which 10 States Have the Cheapest Gas Prices?
Based on what we’ve discussed, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that most states with the cheapest gas prices are in the Midwest and South. Here are the ten states with the cheapest gas prices, based on AAA’s data from April 14th, 2023.
- Mississippi – $3.166
- Arkansas – $3.224
- Louisiana – $3.295
- Alabama – $3.296
- Kansas – $3.325
- Missouri – $3.330
- Oklahoma – $3.332
- New Hampshire $3.346
- Texas – $3.351
- Tennessee – $3.380
Which 10 States Have the Highest Gas Prices?
Based on our above discussion, the states with the highest gas prices aren’t surprising either. Hawaii and Alaska are on the list, of course, because it is challenging to get products of any kind to them. It also includes most of the Southwest.
- California – $4.900
- Hawaii – $4.786
- Arizona – $4.540
- Washington – $4.460
- Nevada – $4.263
- Illinois – $4.072
- Oregon $4.027
- Alaska – $3.882
- Pennsylvania – $3.882
- Washington D.C. – $3.753
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