For those hoping to see the price of gasoline fall, or at the very least hit a plateau, the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA) says don’t hold your breath.
According to a press release by CEMA, as gas stations switch from the winter-blend of fuel to the more expensive summer-blend, which is mandated by the government in an effort to reduce emissions and smog, motorists should expect to see gas prices continue to climb.
“There are a lot of things impacting the price of gasoline in Connecticut as most consumers already know,” Chris Herb, President of CEMA said in the press release. “We just want motorists to be aware that summer-blended gasoline, required by law, will increase those costs even more.”
The reason for fuel blends changing with the seasons has to do with the change in temperature. The winter blend evaporates more easily, allowing cars to start in colder weather. Burning that same fuel blend in the summer would lead to greater emissions and smog, which is why the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) mandates the switch.
However, according to the press release, the summer-blend costs more to make and takes longer to produce. The rise in cost to produce, in conjunction with the increase in demand as people more people travel and vacation in the summer months, leads to the typical rise in fuel prices at this time of year.
Additionally, the war in Ukraine, supply tightness, Wall Street speculation and a “post-Covid” surge are all contributing to the record gas prices, according to CEMA’s press release.
As of right now, the average cost of a gallon of regular gas is $4.67, according to AAA, just slightly higher than the national average. The current national average of $4.60 per gallon is about 33 percent higher than it was at this same time last year and is the highest ever recorded, beating the previous record of $4.11 set in the summer of 2008.
The state legislature has already suspended the 25-cent gas tax until the end of June in an effort to combat the historically high gas prices. Although the press release by CEMA specifically addresses price gouging, ensuring the public that gas station owners are not trying to rip off the public, that hasn’t stopped the complaints from pouring in.
Just a week after the gas tax was suspended, the state Attorney General’s Office received 180 customer complaints of price gouging, according to CT Insider. So far none of the complaints have been substantiated, however, Attorney General William Tong has said that every claim will be investigated and, if a gas station is found to have violated the law, will be penalized accordingly.
“Connecticut gas stations are mostly family-owned businesses,” Herb said in the CEMA press release. “These are the people that you see at the little league game, you see them at the grocery store. It’s your neighbor selling you gas. They are not looking to unfairly increase your gas prices. They are part of your community. And they are required by law to sell you a more expensive type of fuel in the summer.”