2022-04-14-GAS.jpg

Southern Vermonters are seeing gasoline prices dip below $4 per gallon, matching national trends that have seen prices steadily dropping for three consecutive weeks.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

BENNINGTON — Southern Vermonters are seeing gasoline prices declining at the pump, in many cases dipping below $4 per gallon, matching national trends that have seen prices steadily dropping for three consecutive weeks.

A check of gasoline prices Thursday on GasBuddy — which monitors prices across the country and in Vermont — found $3.85 at a 7-Eleven in West Dover, $3.87 at Gulf in Bennington, $3.89 at Penguin Fuels in Bellows Falls, and $3.94 at Gulf in Manchester. Several stations in Windham County still had prices above $4, including $4.17 at an Irving station in Brattleboro.

That marks a decline from just a month ago. A check of GasBuddy’s website in early March found pricing varied across the state: in Burlington, the price was $4.23 per gallon; in Bennington, prices ranged from just under $4 to $4.19; Manchester saw prices as high as $4.29 per gallon, and in Windham County, prices ranged from $3.94 to $4.19 per gallon.

California became the first state last month to hit an average $6 per gallon pump price. On Thursday, prices ranged from $4.59 to north of $5 per gallon.

“Gas prices have continued to move in the right direction — down — saving Americans approximately $100 million every day compared to when prices peaked about a month ago,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, in a release. “And more good news is on the horizon: the national average this week will likely fall back under the critical $4 per gallon mark. It remains possible that gas prices may have hit their 2022 peak, barring the typical caveats like the Russia war on Ukraine, the economy, hurricane season and COVID don’t take drastic and unexpected turns.”

De Hann said diesel prices are also falling and likely to go back under the $5 per gallon average this week. Those costs hit the trucking industry particularly hard, impacting the cost of everything hauled by trucks — which is almost everything in our lives.

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

“The situation for now continues to show signs of improving, with the national average falling back into the $3 range as early as this week,” De Hann said.

The gasoline price reduction comes at a critical time for consumers, with the U.S. Department of Labor reporting earlier this week that inflation hit a 40-year high. President Biden announced Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency is waiving the summer ban on blended fuel in a move to bring prices down by an estimated 10 cents per gallon. He also previously announced plans to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — the largest withdrawal in the reserve’s history — to increase supply.

Betsy Bishop, president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, said she is pleased that gasoline prices are dropping, but noted that businesses are getting hit from multiple directions.

“Gas prices are just one of the many economic burdens weighing on our Vermont businesses as we emerge from the pandemic. No business is untouched by 8.5 percent annual inflation, supply chain interruptions, a labor shortage, and a workforce with new and increased expectations for employers,” Bishop said Thursday. “This is especially true for our largest industries, tourism and manufacturing. With a steady increase in leisure travel and consumer demand for goods, both industries are fighting to meet public expectation, while still in full recovery mode after two years of economic turmoil.”

She added, “While a decrease in gas prices is a welcome relief for all Vermonters, there is much more work to be done to ensure the vitality of the Vermont business community.”

The high gas prices have prompted some national food chains to offer time-limited deals tied to the price per gallon. Each Wednesday Krispy Krème is offering a dozen glazed doughnuts for the price of a gallon of gas on Monday of that week — a savings for consumers; Bojangles is giving away $1 million in gift cards with certain purchases to “help customers offset the increased cost of fueling their tanks;” Dunkin and Wawa are also offering short-term programs tied to gas prices.


TALK TO US

If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us.
We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.