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Understanding the Increase and Anticipating Relief
You may have recently noticed a significant surge in gas prices in Utah, with the cost per gallon nearing $4. As an expert sheds light on the reasons behind this price hike, we explore when we can expect things to stabilize.
As of Tuesday morning, the average gas price in Utah stood at $3.92 per gallon, which is approximately 40 cents higher than the nationwide average of $3.53 per gallon.
Refinery Issues in Arizona Amplify the Impact
Julian Paredes, spokesperson for AAA, offered insights into why Utah has experienced such a sharp increase. He pointed out that our neighboring state, Arizona, is dealing with a scarcity of gasoline supply due to the temporary shutdown of two refineries for maintenance. Consequently, Arizona is grappling with some of the highest gas prices in the country. Unfortunately, this situation may have indirectly contributed to higher prices in Utah as some fuel from our region could have been rerouted to assist Arizona, placing upward pressure on local prices.
As of Tuesday morning, the average gas price in Arizona soared to $4.69 per gallon.
Memorial Day Brings No Respite
High gas prices hit particularly hard during travel season, especially with Memorial Day just around the corner, signaling the start of summer. Paredes cautions against expecting an immediate drop in prices. He explains that gas prices have remained high for several weeks, if not months, and the outlook is not particularly optimistic. Although relief might be possible, there are multiple factors indicating that gas prices may continue to remain elevated.
Signs of Potential Relief
What could potentially ease the situation? One positive development would be the reopening of the refineries in Arizona, which would alleviate the supply constraints. Paredes notes that demand for gas remains relatively consistent throughout the year, making it challenging to find an optimal time for necessary maintenance. However, these refineries are expected to resume operations in the near future.
Furthermore, despite the current price increase, it’s worth noting that gas prices in Utah are still far from reaching the record highs witnessed in June 2022. Additionally, the reopening of the refineries is imminent, providing a glimmer of hope.
Uncertain Impact Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend
Nevertheless, the timing of the refineries’ reopening poses a concern. With Memorial Day weekend and summer travel plans right around the corner, any potential benefit from the resumption of operations could be overshadowed by sustained high demand. Paredes emphasizes that if gas demand remains elevated, the impact of the refinery issues might not be as significant as we hope.
A Ray of Hope
While current gas prices may strain your wallet, Paredes offers some encouragement, highlighting that the nationwide average gas price has actually been declining for the past two weeks. This trend suggests that the higher prices experienced recently in Utah might only be temporary.
Amidst the challenging circumstances, it’s crucial to remain hopeful that relief will come soon. In the meantime, check out the “5 WS” website[^5ws_link] for ways to find the cheapest gas across Utah.
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