(WPRI) — Gasoline prices in Rhode Island are down 15 cents from last week, according to a statement from AAA Northeast.
A January AAA survey found self-serve, regular unleaded in Rhode Island to be averaging at $2.15 per gallon. Prices around the state are now 47 cents lower than they were a month ago.
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A year ago at this time, prices were averaging at $3.50 per gallon, more that one dollar higher than they are now.
Recent college graduate Line-ariel Bretou is happy that she can now fill her tank for less. “I’m saving 20 to 30 bucks. Yeah, it’s really good,” she said.
Michael Green of AAA said that prices are low due to a falling price of crude oil, but states with higher taxes are paying more for gas than others.
“Prices can vary pretty significantly from place to place and a lot of that can cause consumer confusion,” Green said.
According to AAA, more than half the cost of gasoline is the cost of crude oil. Gas prices also take into account state taxes, transportation and shipping costs, and the federal gas tax, which is 18.4 cents a gallon. The federal gas tax hasn’t been raised since 1993, and officials don’t anticipate a hike anytime soon.
New Jersey and Alaska have the lowest state taxes, while Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and New York have some of the highest. Residents in states with higher state taxes tend to pay more for gas than states with lower taxes.
Another factor that determines gas price is the geographical location of the state residents are living in. Americans living near oil refineries, which turn crude oil into usable gas, pay a lot less at the gas pump.
“If you live along the US gulf coast you often find that your gas prices are among the cheapest in the country because about half of the United States refining capacity is in that area,” Green said.
For now, Rhode Island residents are enjoying the low prices and are hoping that they continue to stay as low as that are. Line-ariel said that she is excited to spend her money on things other than gas. “I mean, I get to shop more now,” she said.