Glenwood a pricey place for fuel in a gasoline-expensive state |

Glenwood a pricey place for fuel in a gasoline-expensive state

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

A limited number of gas stations, transportation costs over the mountains and the price of doing business on expensive property are just some of the reasons that Glenwood Springs has one of the highest fuel costs in the state, according to AAA Colorado.While the cost of gasoline has been dropping nationally, the Glenwood is still seeing an average gas price of $2.58 per gallon for regular fuel as of Friday, Nov. 3. The same gas on Friday cost $2.13 in Denver.Garfield County as a whole is also seeing higher gas prices than elsewhere in the state.”There are a lot of factors that come into play here,” said Eric Escudero, spokesperson for AAA Colorado. “There aren’t as many gas stations and competition plays a big part. There are many areas on the Western Slope where it’s more expensive to operate a gas station because of the property value. Another factor is that it’s more expensive to get the gas there.” Statewide, gas prices continued to fall this week with an average of $2.25 per gallon. The national average this week was $2.21 per gallon. The national average a month ago was $2.29 and a year ago was $2.44. Overall, Colorado ranks as the 16th most expensive state on average for regular unleaded. Last week, Colorado ranked as the 13th most expensive, according to AAA.”The last time the average price of regular unleaded gasoline in Colorado was below the national average was on July 26 (2006),” Escudero said. “Today, on average, Coloradans are paying $2.25 for a gallon of regular unleaded.”According to AAA, industry experts say that Colorado has remained above the national average for a prolonged period of time because of a diesel shortage that forced suppliers to put unleaded fuel supplies on the back burner, and because there is only one refinery in the state of Colorado.

“For the entire state, a lot of times we’ll pay more than other states because we don’t have a lot of refineries,” Escudero said. “And any time there’s a shortage (of gas), it’s harder for us to make it up.”David Valencia, owner of the Rifle Conoco station in Rifle, said his prices change because the cost of gasoline changes from day to day.On Friday, Nov. 3, his station was selling gas for $2.49, just a penny less than the average cost of regular gasoline in Rifle. Gas retailers typically watch the market and their competitors when setting their prices.”The cost is set by the fuel companies, transportation and credit cards,” Valencia said. “Although our price is not controlled by anyone. (Gas stations) try to make 12- to 15-cents per gallon to cover the overhead. But the costs fluctuate day to day.”As far as a conspiracy theory by President Bush and the Republican party to lower prices right before an election, Escudero says he hasn’t seen anything to prove it.”A lot of people believe in the conspiracy theory, but they don’t consider that November is historically a time when gas prices are always lower,” he said. “It’s the end of the summer driving season and the demand (for gas) is lower. November is historically one of the least expensive times to purchase gas. It’s all based on supply and demand.”As far as the future, Escudero says he can’t predict gasoline costs any more than one can predict the stock market.

“There are things to watch,” he warned. “But we’ve had an almost non-existent hurricane season, there are no geo-political tensions or problems to make the prices go up and all the factors that play in getting fuel to the people.”However, consumers may expect to see prices rise again in the spring when people again begin to travel.For more up-to-date information on the latest gas prices around the state, log onto

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