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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pay grade for Tucson gas among nation’s lowest

Tucson gas prices are among the lowest in the country.

Gas prices in Tucson have fallen, on average, 3.7 cents per gallon in the past week, according to www.tucsongasprices.com.

This is much higher than the national average, which has fallen about 2.1 cents per gallon. The national average gas price is $3.42 per gallon while gas is $3.24 on average in the Tucson area.

Although gas prices are on a decline, the average gas price around the country is 70.1 cents higher than it was a year ago. Gas prices in Tucson are comparatively cheap because of a number of factors.

Arizona uses a special type of gasoline that is relatively cheaper than many other types of gasoline, according to Patrick Dehaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com. He said that there are about 15 to 20 different types of gasoline and each one varies in expense.

Dehaan said that each state has its own local air pollution standards that must be met, so the type of gas that is used in Arizona is cheaper because the air pollution standards allow it.

Dehaan explained that it is also based on the local supply and demand. Because there is a high supply, and not as much demand to meet the supply, the gas prices are driven down. Dehaan added that another reason gas prices are so cheap is due to the fact that Arizona has a relatively cheap gas tax of about 37 cents per gallon. He said this is much cheaper than the neighbors of Arizona that have much higher gas taxes. New Mexico weighs in around the same at 37 cents, while Colorado is around 40 cents. Even higher than these are Utah, Nevada, and California whose gas taxes are at 43, 51 and 69 cents per gallon respectively.

Chris Wozny, administrative director of Safe Ride, said that although gas prices have risen in the past, they are able to budget enough to cover gas expenses for the year. He said that the budget is about $25,000 every year for gas and it is extremely rare that they go over that budget.

Wozny explained that in addition to having this budget for the normal fleet of five vans and five sedans, Safe Ride receives relatively cheap gas from the state-owned UA Motor Pool facility. He said that they get gas for a reduced price and do not pay gas tax to fill up their tanks.

Wozny said that they pay $3.01 per gallon for unleaded gas for their sedans and they pay $2.84 per gallon fo E-85 gasoline.

He said that he remembers in the years of 2007 and 2008 gasoline was between $3 and $4 per gallon and that their budget covered that so he expects the budget to cover the current costs and fuel needs.

Benjamin Matiella, a mechanical engineering freshman, said Tucson has reasonable gas prices. “Gas everywhere else is worse,” he said. “Comparatively it’s cheap.”

He said that although gas prices are cheap “driving around is a nightmare.”

Matiella said that it is definitely worth the cost to have a car here at the UA and that although gas prices are significantly higher than last year, it is not a deterrent to driving and having to pay for gas.

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