For forty years the U-S has banned the export of most all crude oil. Matt Laslo reports a new debate is raging in Washington over whether to end the ban.
MATT LASLO: The U-S banned crude oil exports after the Arab oil embargo of 1973. It’s been in place since, which has negatively impacted global oil prices. Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso says he’s ready to lift the ban.
Gas prices are up across the Rocky Mountain States as Canadian oil costs increase. Although this means that prices in Wyoming are back to more than $3.00 per gallon, Wyoming drivers are still paying less than the national average.
It’s a good time to fill up in Wyoming, especially if you live in Laramie—which boasts the lowest gas prices in the nation, at $2.47. The state average is $2.83, which is about two and a half dollars less than the national average. That’s according to gasbuddy.com, which collects data from volunteer price spotters around the country.
Gas Buddy Senior Petroleum Analyst, Patrick DeHaan says Wyoming’s location, low taxes, and prolific refineries contribute to the low prices.
Wyoming has been relatively insulated from a jump in American gasoline prices.
Gregg Laskoski is a senior petroleum analyst for Gas-Buddy-dot-com. He says supply problems – exacerbated by a pipeline rupture in Wisconsin and refinery fires in California and Indiana – are behind rising prices.
Laskoski says the national average price of gas is $3.67, up $.25 from last month… but gas in Wyoming has only risen by $.05.
“Wyoming has been able to access cheaper Canadian crude oil,” Laskoski says. “In addition to that, Wyoming has a very low fuel tax.”
Analysts are making conflicting predictions about where gas prices will go this summer. Some are forecasting record highs, while others say prices at the pump have already peaked. Businesses in Wyoming’s service industry hope for the latter, as they depend on an injection of tourism dollars each summer. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez spoke with several businesses near Yellowstone about what might happen if gas prices climb with the temperature.