Chittenden County takes the lead on lower gas prices

Sen. Sanders says fall in prices proves market was manipulated

By:  Dan D’Ambrosio
Burlington Free Press

Don’t look now, but gas prices are falling in Vermont, and Chittenden County is leading the way.

On Wednesday afternoon, 10 of the 15 gas stations with the lowest prices in the state were in Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Richmond, Winooski and Essex Junction, all of them two to four cents below $3.50 per gallon.

The cheapest Vermont gas was in Bennington at $3.44 per gallon, while the average price in the state was $3.57 per gallon. The average national price per gallon was $3.51.

The prices Wednesday marked a reversal of northwest Vermont’s usual role of leading the state with the highest gas prices, often 15 or 20 cents per gallon higher than towns such as Rutland and Middlebury. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has kept up a steady campaign of questioning the reasoning behind the difference in price, including holding a congressional field hearing in Burlington last year.

“What does all of this tell me?” Sanders said Monday. “It tells me what I have long suspected: That there is no real economic reason why gas prices in northwest Vermont should be 10, 15 or 20 cents per gallon higher than the rest of the state.”

What this seems to tell people pumping gas around Chittenden County on Tuesday was that gas price swings are confusing. “I don’t know what the heck is going on,” said Bill McGrath, 46, of Burlington. “It’s frustrating.”

Read the full article in the Burlington Free Press