It’s True! Some Seacoast Gas Prices Are Going Down (for Now)
After gas prices shot to record highs during the past week on the Seacoast, they may be starting to creep down a little.
The average price of regular in New Hampshire was at a steady $4.29 the past two days on Friday, according to a AAA survey of prices. Maine's average was also $4.29 down two cents, while Massachusetts is up a penny at $4.36.
"Over the past 24 hours, we've seen in the price at the pump, and that's probably related to the price of oil pulling back a bit over the past few days," AAA Public Affairs Manager Dan Goodman told Seacoast Current.
Goodman said crude oil was selling at $126 per barrel on Tuesday but dropped by 10% to $110 by Friday, which has relieved the pressure on gas prices.
The oil market is so volatile that Goodman said it's too soon to say if it's the worst of the price spike that brought the highest prices ever to the Seacoast.
"It's hard to turn 48 hours of trading into a long term trend," Goodman said.
Another factor affecting gas prices is supply, which began to decrease as demand got less at the start of the pandemic. When demand began to pick up again, supply did not increase.
President Joe Biden's ban on imported Russian oil is expected to also drive up prices. But the United Arab Emirates said it wants to increase production, according to CNN.
Gas Tax Holiday
Maine Rep. Laurel Libby has proposed legislation that would create a gas tax holiday through the end of 2022 to bring down prices. The Maine Better Transportation Association, Associated General Contractors Maine, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and the Maine Municipal Association, however, said that would be a bad idea.
"User fees such as those paid at the pump fund the lion's share of fixing our roads, and we know Maine voters support transportation whenever it is on the ballot. We count on these revenues to match critical federal funds," the groups wrote in a joint statement.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu told The New England Council meeting on Thursday that he favors a temporary suspension of the state gas tax.
"If the legislature today wants to propose a gas tax cut, I am on it. If they want to cut room and meal tax, I am on it. Something might be temporary, but something just to spur what's happening," Sununu said.
Sununu is not optimistic that a federal gas tax is coming.
"If you're going to do it, do it. I'll be the first one to stand up and say 'great job.' But it's Washington. I don't think they have the guts to do it," Sununu said.