After Sen. Bernie Sanders launched an investigation into unusually high gasoline prices in northwestern Vermont last summer, gas prices in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties became much more competitive. In towns about 35 miles away, the same companies were selling a gallon of gasoline for about 25 cents cheaper than they were selling it for in the Burlington area. After calling for a federal investigation, Bernie held a Senate field hearing in early August to further examine the issue.
As part of his investigation, Bernie called upon the Federal Trade Commission to uncover why gas prices in northwestern Vermont were unusually high. The FTC found that gas prices in the Burlington area in June were as much as a dime to 43 cents greater than a Federal Trade Commission computer model projected they should be. During his investigation, Bernie also revealed that gasoline profit margins in northwest Vermont were double the national average, making greater Burlington the most lucrative gasoline market east of the Rockies this summer. In the wake of the senator’s investigation, gasoline prices in the Burlington area became much more competitive. Profit margins fell and savings were passed along to Vermonters.
Starting in mid-September gas sold in Vermont became much more expensive than the national average. We will continue to update this page to help you understand how the price of gasoline is being set, help you determine if Vermont gas prices are competitive, and share resources so you can find filling stations with the most competitive prices.
By The Numbers:
Northwestern Vermont ranked as the 11th most profitable region to sell gasoline in the United States last year.
The average profit margin on each gallon of gas sold in northwestern Vermont last year was 31.6 cents -- the 11th highest profit margin in the U.S..
Vermont ranked as the fourth most lucrative state to sell gas east of the Rocky Mountain states in early December.
Gas cost 35 cents more per gallon in northwestern Vermont than the national average in mid-December.
Cents cheaper one gallon of gas was being sold for in Middlebury, Vt., compared to greater Burlington by the same company.*
Source: Oil Price Information Service; Gasbuddy.com, both stations owned by Champlain Oil Co., 11/27/12*; Image: price comparison, AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, 4/30/13
Note: Northwestern Vermont includes Chittenden, Grand Isle and Franklin Counties