Verify: Why Colorado gas prices are higher than the average

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A gallon of gas in Colorado is more expensive than the national average price. Experts say this is partly due to Colorado being the place people want to be.

DENVER — A trip to the gas station can run people a lot more than they’re used to spending these days. According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.14 and here in Colorado it is $3.47. Viewer Connie wrote in to our verify team asking why Coloradans are paying higher prices. Turns out, Colorado is a victim of its own success when it comes to tourism.

The question

I want to know why Colorado gas prices are higher than the national average. Gas prices here used to be lower than the average. What’s happened that our prices are higher not lower?

The Answer

Colorado has higher gas prices than the average national price for several reasons. It’s further away from supply than states near the gulf and demand is higher as more people travel to and through Colorado.

What we found

Colorado’s not alone in having higher gas prices. In California the average price is over four dollars.

Skyler McKinley, the regional director of public affairs for AAA Colorado, says Colorado is the place that people want to be and as a result of that, we end up paying more.

“As travel demand comes back increasingly, Americans are heading westward,” McKinley said. “Denver was in the top 3 destination list over the fourth of July weekend, Americans are road tripping here, demand is way up and we’re pretty far from supply. Supply hasn’t come back on completely so were higher than the national average.”

McKinley said that other states closer to the gulf have lower prices because it doesn’t cost as much to ship there. He also said its normal for Colorado to fluctuate gas prices and that sometimes a gallon of gas costs less than the average, and other times its higher.

Gas prices should start to drop again after Labor Day once the summer travel season starts to wind down, McKinley said. 

RELATED: 4th of July weekend travelers should expect delays

RELATED: Gas prices rise again, no sign of letting up this summer


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