Gas prices have risen quickly in Wyoming over the past month in keeping with national trends.
The average statewide cost reached $3.61 per gallon this week. That’s almost a 47-cent increase from a month ago, according to GasBuddy.com, a company that tracks prices at gas stations across the U.S. and Canada.
Wyoming’s average gasoline cost is still $.28 cheaper than the national average.
GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says while gas prices fluctuate throughout the year, Wyoming’s small population means the state’s prices tend to rise and fall behind the curve.
“There’s not as much gasoline being sold. And so, when prices are rising, they’re not as quick to increase because stations are still selling gasoline that they bought at a lower rate.”
DeHaan says refineries in the Rockies also process a cheaper Canadian crude oil than many other American refineries. He adds that many factors go into the cost of gasoline, but prices cycle pretty steadily throughout the seasons.
“Prices generally are lowest in the colder months and highest in the warmers months. That has to do with (the) amount of gasoline demand. A lot of the reason prices go up, as well, is because there is a shift in the late winter and early spring to a cleaner burning gasoline.”
The Environmental Protection Agency requires that gas stations sell cleaner-burning fuel during the summer months to limit emissions that contribute to smog.
DeHaan says refineries often have difficulty meeting gasoline demand during the seasonal transition period, which can contribute to higher prices.