Why are gas prices so high in the West?; Enquiring minds demand to know - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Why are gas prices so high in the West?; Enquiring minds demand to know

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Gas prices are falling in the South and the Midwest. So why do they remain so stubbornly high in the Intermountain West? That's what Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal wants to know.

Yesterday (Wednesday), Freudenthal sent a letter to refineries asking for information about why gas prices have remained high in the Rocky Mountain states. For example, Triple-A reports the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Wyoming today (Thursday) is about $2.70. Neighboring mountain states range from $2.72 in Montana to $2.86 in Idaho. But on the Plains, the price is just $2.44 in South Dakota and $2.35 in Nebraska.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has also written letters to oil officials asking to know why Mountain West gas prices are still high.

Experts have given various explanations for the difference in prices, ranging from supply problems caused by limited pipeline capacity, to demand issues related to problems on the Alaska Pipeline.

But Roy Turner of the Wyoming Colorado Petroleum Marketers Association says there may be good news on the horizon. He says he expects prices to fall throughout the West, reaching about $2.20 or $2.25 by November.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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