We’re number one in the Northeast. On October 1, 2012, Connecticut’s average price-at-the-pump for regular gasoline was $4.12 a gallon, slightly higher than New York’s $4.10 a gallon. The only states in the nation with higher prices are California and Hawaii. Rounding out the top six- and the only other states topping $4 a gallon - are Alaska and Washington, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline, however, decreased five cents last week to $3.83 per gallon. Nearly a dozen states hover around $3.60 per gallon for regular gas, according to AAA.
The Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association explains, “Connecticut has the highest combined state taxes on gasoline and as a result has the highest gasoline prices. However, if you subtract the state and federal taxes from average state prices across this region - then Connecticut's gasoline prices are no higher than anywhere else in our region.”
This is, however, one expensive region. Nationally, Connecticut's combined state and federal gas taxes have been consistently in the top five. In July, Connecticut was surpassed only by California, Hawaii and New York, according to the American Petroleum Institute; in January, New York, California and Connecticut were all within six-tenths of a penny in leading the tax pack.
Where is the most expensive place in the most expensive state in the region? According to connecticutgasprices.com, gas stations located in Westport, West Haven and Wilton have the state’s highest prices, topping $4.40 a gallon. Guilford, East Haven, and Stratford have among the lowest prices, under $4 a gallon.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (USEIA) reports that gasoline prices tend to be higher the farther it is sold from the source of supply: ports, refineries, and pipeline and blending terminals. About 60% of the crude oil processed by U.S. refineries in 2011 was imported. The U.S. Gulf Coast was the source of about 23% of the gasoline produced in the U.S. and the starting point for most major gasoline pipelines, so those States farther from the refineries tend to have higher prices, according to USEIA. They also remind consumers that California prices are higher and more variable because there are relatively few supply sources of its unique blend of gasoline. California’s reformulated gasoline program is more stringent than the Federal government’s. And as for Hawaii, well, the price implications of their location are self-evident.