Gas prices top $4 a gallon in L-A

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Cam Cote of Lewiston paid more than $39 for less than 10 gallons of gas at a Mobil station on Lisbon Street in Lewiston on Tuesday.

The average price of gas in Vacationland on Monday was $3.94 a gallon, 13 cents higher than the national average, according to MaineGasPrices.com.

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Gas prices rose to more than $4 per gallon at various stations in Lewiston and Auburn on Tuesday.

By Tuesday evening it was $4.01, 16 cents higher than the national average, according to the same watchdog website.

And people in the Twin Cities were feeling the pain at the pump.

"The gas prices are outrageous and they're controlled by politics," Cam Cote of Lewiston said. "And with this being an election year, you would think someone would be controlling the prices a little better."

Cote, like most, expressed frustration over the daily rise in gas prices as he pumped nearly $40 worth of gas into his girlfriend's 2001 Saturn.

On Tuesday evening, gas prices in the Twin Cities stood on both sides of the state average, with Auburn seeing a cost range between $3.95 and $4.01 per gallon, according to MaineGasPrices.com, while Lewiston prices ranged from $3.93 to $4.08 per gallon. The website is operated by GasBuddy Organization, a collection of websites on which consumers post and view retail gas-pricing information by state.

In July, during what would have been considered peak summer travel, the state's average gas price was $3.55 per gallon; the national average was $3.45. Gas prices in Lewiston-Auburn hovered around the state average.

Cote said that in addition to rising gas prices, the sharp rate increase on the Maine Turnpike continues to hurt drivers, especially those who, like his girlfriend, travel the toll road for work regularly.

"You're getting stabbed by one side and you're getting taken by the other," Cote said.

He said he normally goes to not only the same gas station, but even the same pump, regularly in an effort to better track fuel efficiency. He often fills his tank five times, marking down the amount of gas put in each time, and then adds the gas amounts together and divides them by the trip odometer to get the most accurate miles-per-gallon rate.

Abby Hutchins of Bethel also pays attention to the pumps during her 71-mile round-trip commute to work in the Lewiston-Auburn area.

The 22-year-old said she rarely fills up her tank. Hutchins said she more often puts in $20 here, $25 there, every couple of days during the workweek. Overall, she said, she spends anywhere from $60 to $80 per week fueling her car.

"I don't get angry about it," she said. "You know? You got to go to work. You got to put gas in your car. It's just part of the circle, unless you're one of the lucky people who can walk to work."

Many of those experiencing wallet pain at the pumps agreed with Cote that the government should be doing more about controlling gas prices. Larando Sweeting questioned what he could do when it came to rising prices.

The Auburn resident said it took $70 to fill up his Jeep Grand Cherokee this week. Last month, it was closer to $50. Like Cote, he also believed the government had a lot to do with the gas prices and resigned himself to the fact that the prices are what they are.

"It's government," Sweeting said. "There ain't much about it we can do once they set a price. Either you drive or you walk or ride a bike or catch a cab. It's something we've gotten used to and accepted. Being mad about it isn't going to change anything."

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Comments

Jim  Riman's picture

Gas Prices

I emailed the White House in February and asked them if and how they were going to keep gas and oil prices down. I received a reply that said their intention was to go green and phase oil and gas out. They linked me to a speech given by the energy secretary in which he said the administration would like to see our gas prices equivalent with Europe. So my question is how is green working for you?

JOHN PAINTER's picture

This was one of the reasons I

This was one of the reasons I made a conscious decision to purchase a new diesel car (33mpg in town, 52mpg driving Rt 126 or I 95 to work), it is unlikely that gasoline prices will trend down over time. Actually I'm interested in whether there might be any people around Lewiston interested in forming a small bio diesel collective and purchasing our own processor similar (though larger) to Northern Tools processor http://tinyurl.com/8maokqb though I'm not certain about how city code would impact such a co-op.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Its not all the feds fault....

I'm no expert, I just noticed that the article indicates that the price is sixteen cents, higher than "National Average". To me that would indicate something, in state, affecting prices. Sixteen cents isn't much, but to people commuting to work daily, and everything else that ends up costing more due to gas prices, sixteen cents is starting to be noticeable. Maybe we should look to our "Governor" for answers, oh wait, can't do that. Isn't he in China? Maybe if we're lucky, he'll bring home some cheap gas......

Michael Gendron's picture

State Tax on fuel

There is a fed and state tax on fuel which could be the reason why Maine gas prices are higher then the national average. Our state tax on fuel is higher. http://www.maine.gov/revenue/fueltax/fueltaxrates.htm

MARK GRAVE's picture

Well, the governor could cut

Well, the governor could cut the state gas tax to lower fuel prices, and all the programs that are funded from the gas tax – I would support that move.

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

Time to pull the plug on the oil tycoons

It’s time the president calls a state of war against the oil czars and seizes all assets of these criminals, the Nations life blood should not be FOR PROFIT!!! This industry should be fully taken over by our government. send a message to these scum bums, let them know it is time for us to act instead of playing this cat and mouse act raise prices till a investigation is called for then go down 20 cents then the investigation is called a success then a few months later go back up to 50 cents higher. And they claimed before oh it is not our gas dealers it is the national office which given the fact we are the highest shows they lie, lie, lie. I have heard over and over it is because we need these billions for drilling and such when prices are down then when they did go down guess what they stopped drilling and even closed one of the highest producing refineries. Our economy is held by these scum bums when gas and oil climbs so does unemployment! WE ARE IN THIS PICKLE AS A DIRECT RESULT OF OUR OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY!!! They should be treated as drug dealers as all assets should be stripped from them and put them in jail for a couple of years.

Jim Cyr's picture

Mr. Fitzsimmons, do you

have any idea as to who makes more money on a gallon of gas ?? Is it Big Brother or the oil/gas industry ???? I think you would be surprised as to who !! And since when is it criminal to make a profit in a society of "Free Enterprise" ? Ford & VW each make a car that exceeds 75 miles a gallon, but this Obama administration will not "ALLOW" them to be sold in this country ! Keep drinking the "Kool-Aid"!

MARK GRAVE's picture

Yes, just like in Venezuela

Yes, just like in Venezuela who now purchases fuel from us because everyone stopped investing in their own infrastructure because there was no profit margin?

The current issue is not crude oil prices, but rather refinery capacity. To fix this, the government should do the following:

1. Create a nation gas mixture standard as compared to each state defining their own gas mixture. This will reduce refinery costs and allow gas to be used in all states, not just local markets.
2. Grant 10-20 year tax free status on new refinery capacity.
3. Remove EPA red tape on new or increased refinery capacity.

In a nutshell, remove the obstacles to new production. Your proposal will do nothing but reduce supply similar to those polices in Venezuela and that will drive prices up even more.

John Clement's picture

he has done a de facto

he has done a de facto seizure of their assets by not allowing them to drill on public land. Ten years ago Sen Kerry said it would take ten years to see any result from drilling so we shouldn't bother. Well, it has been ten years and we could use some relief. I blame the marxist enviromentalists that haven't allowed a new refinery in almost 35 years and file lawsuit after lawsuit to stop any progress. It's simple but apparently not for the average dumbed-down american, increase supply and the price goes down, decrease regualtion and taxes and price goes down, get rid of democrats and the price goes down. Let the free market be free. you people deserve the government you elect. enjoy the consequences of your actions now, but if you want change tell the government they are not needed and you don't want any welfare and you will take care of your family without their help. start being self-sufficient instead of joining the dependency class.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Well said John. Just look at

Well said John. Just look at their solutions – more government control. This is absolutely the wrong answer. Everything the government touches is made worse.

Fred Stone's picture

Ridiculous

Here we have gas prices going through the roof and two politicians running around the country wasting millions of dollars to prove which candidate is the biggest bullshitter, and neither one could care less about this issue.
It's a sad day in America when we don't have a viable candidate from either party to vote for, because the system doesn't allow a qualified candidate to run unless they have millions of dollars to run their smear campaigns.

MARK GRAVE's picture

Fred, There is a difference.

Fred,

There is a difference. Romney wants to increase domestic energy production. Obama wants to invest in bankrupt battery and solar panel companies.

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