SALT LAKE CITY — Many drivers have watched as gas prices begin to fall across the country, but hover well above the national average in Utah. Why have gas prices in the Beehive State started high and remained that way?
In so much of life, the higher someone flies, the further they fall. But that doesn't seem to be true of gas prices in Utah... at least not yet. Currently, the state has the ninth-highest price in the nation, and the price hasn't fallen as much as it has elsewhere.
Imagine driving a car to and from work, fifteen miles each way for a total of thirty miles. If that car gets thirty miles to the gallon, the commute is one gallon a day.
Right now, that gallon of unleaded averages $4.80 in Utah.
In a 5-day work week, that commute costs $24 in gas. One year ago, that gallon was $3.88 for just 19 dollars a week.
Utah really is on a short list of expensive states for gas.
One reason why western states are paying so much is the Rocky Mountains. The nation's biggest oil producers and refiners are on the other side of the mountains in Texas and other southeastern states.
Also, states west of the Rockies tend to have high gas taxes, with the coastal states and Nevada being especially high.
But Utah and Idaho take more taxes at the pump than neighbors in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.