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Experts explain why gas prices vary so widely across the Valley, state

Gas Prices
Posted at 7:51 AM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 14:14:54-04

PHOENIX — You might have noticed where you go for gas can vary greatly in pricing across the state and even just across the Valley.

Tuesday marked another record-breaking day at the pump for Arizona. AAA reported the state’s average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas hit about $5.35.

GasBuddy lead energy analyst Patrick De Haan said the discrepancy in pricing depends on a lot of factors, including Arizona’s laws around Clean Burning Gasoline (CBG). It dictates what formulas of gasoline can be sold in certain areas at certain times of the year in the state due to air quality regulations.

“[There are] a lot of discrepancies across the state between what you're paying, especially if you're in one of the CBG, or clean-burning gasoline, areas,” De Haan said. “That's why there's a big difference between some areas of the state because some of those areas require different blends of summer gasoline that's higher [priced].”

De Haan also predicted the upward momentum of gas prices may slow down, but they will keep rising nonetheless for the near future.

It’s caused some Valley workers ABC15 spoke with to stop driving to their job sites altogether this week.

“It's just too expensive. You're paying over your day labor wages to fill up the tank. You get $120 a day you [have to] pay $130, $140 just to fill up a tank so it's terrible,” said Jeffrey Erby. “I'm taking the bus. We're just trying to, you know, [make] it better to manage ourselves and manage our ways to get to the jobs.”

The constant jump in prices comes amid higher crude oil costs and tight gasoline supplies.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reporting the national supply of crude oil is about 12 percent lower than a year ago.

The EIA is expected to release its next weekly report on Wednesday.

If it shows another decline in national inventory, De Haan predicts we’ll likely see gas prices spike yet again.