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Q&AZ: Why Are Arizona Gas Prices Higher Than Most Other States?

By Harry Croton
Published: Monday, April 27, 2020 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, April 27, 2020 - 7:32am

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Q&AZ is supported in part by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

A gas pump
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
A gas pump in north Phoenix on April 26, 2020.

While average fuel prices across the country have fallen due to the coronavirus pandemic, some Arizona gas stations have barely changed, and one listener asked why through our Q&AZ reporting project.

Gas price fluctuations depend on several key factors.

Motorists are paying around $2.18 per gallon this week, which makes Arizona the seventh most-expensive state for fuel, according to AAA.

The Valley is serviced by two pipelines in the East and West that deliver fuel from Texas and California depending on the county.

Because of this, prices in Pima County are lower due to state-related factors such as tax rates, air restriction guidelines and transportation costs.

"Typically Arizona prices are higher than the rest of the country," AAA spokesman Aldo Vazquez said. "That is just the general trend that we see. You can also keep in mind that retailers set their own individual prices. So if prices are higher, it's a decision that was being made by that individual station.”

Vazquez says the main reason prices are dropping nationally is because global and domestic crude oil demand has fallen tremendously.

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