By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – While all Americans are feeling the pain at the pump, some are paying more than others.
Gas prices are highest in Democrat-led states, according to a list of average gas prices by state published by AAA. The top five states with the most expensive average cost of regular gasoline per gallon are led by Democratic governors and Democratic-controlled legislatures.
Of all Americans, Californians are paying the most. Some are posting pictures of pump prices on Twitter, including a gallon of regular gas reaching $6.95 in Beverly Hills. The average is $5.71 as of late Friday afternoon in the Democratic-led state.
Gas prices are the highest they’ve ever been in California, up by well over $1 from a year ago.
Matthew J. Peterson, president of New Founding Corp., based in Dallas, tweeted, “The great thing about California is that if you work for an hour at minimum wage you can buy two whole gallons of gas. Offer only valid for a limited time as gas prices may continue to rise. Higher taxes and utility costs than the national average may apply.”
One reason why California gas is so expensive is because more than a $1 goes to taxes. Unlike Florida and some other U.S. states, which moved to reduce and suspend gas taxes, California has yet to do so.
Last November, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis asked state lawmakers to cut state gas and fuel taxes by $1 billion to offset rising gas prices, well before prices got to where they are now. He also proposed a gas tax holiday in his “Freedom First” budget.
Nevada, which has the second-highest average gas price of $4.92 a gallon, is also run by a Democratic governor and legislature.
Hawaii, also led by a Democratic governor and state legislature, has the third-highest average gas price of $4.84 a gallon.
The states with the next highest average gas prices per gallon, also led by Democrats, are Oregon ($4.74) and Washington ($4.73).
By contrast, the five states with the lowest average cost of regular gasoline per gallon are all led by Republicans.
Kansas has the lowest average price of regular gasoline per gallon of $3.82, with Missouri second-lowest at $3.85. Oklahoma, which has historically had low gasoline prices, has the third-lowest average price for regular gas at the pump of $3.87. North Dakota ($3.91) and Arkansas ($3.91) are next.
Twenty-five Republican governors called on President Joe Biden to prioritize American energy independence. In their joint statement, they called on President Biden “to reverse his policies and restore America’s energy independence for our citizens as well as our allies abroad.
“By removing his bans on new oil and gas development on federal lands, building the Keystone XL pipeline, and reinstating regulatory reforms to streamline energy permitting, we can protect our national energy security and sell to our friends rather than buy from our enemies,” they wrote.
“Family budgets have already been stretched thin following record inflation. People in our states cannot afford another spike at the gas pump,” they added.
In Texas ($4.01), Gov. Greg Abbott said, “Instead of begging other countries for oil, Biden can stop hindering the U.S. energy sector. Texas can easily produce enough oil to reduce gas prices if his administration would get out of the way. Don’t make us dependent on foreign sources of energy.”
Governors from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming signed the letter.