Record gas prices causing pain at the pump

Record gasoline prices in Vermont and around the country are giving drivers a shock to the system.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 3:52 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 6:10 AM EDT
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Record gasoline prices in Vermont and around the country are giving drivers a shock to the system. GasBuddy Tuesday reported that the country hit a new gas price record, averaging $4.36 a gallon, but the majority of Vermonters are paying much more right now.

Finding a deal on gas is an impossible challenge for drivers down headed down Route 7 in South Burlington.

“It just makes it harder for people to live,” said Charles Leclair of Swanton, who spent $138 Wednesday morning to fill his 30-gallon tank. The price -- $4.59 a gallon. “We have to go to work, we have to make a living and it takes more out of our pocket,” Leclair says he’s trying to budget and travel less but with work and other obligations, he’s stuck paying the price.

Consumer prices are up 8.3% over this time last year but the increase in gas prices is even more dramatic. According to AAA, Vermont’s average price was $4.46 a gallon on Wednesday. Compare that to the average price one year ago of $2.91.Vermont’s prices have been higher than the national average all week.

Some Vermonters say they’ve been trying to limit their trips as much as possible. “Just going to work and back and I’m scared to put the boat in the water this year,” said Kyle Nichols of St. George.

“I’m now paying attention to where I drive and how often. I take my gas to empty until my gas light comes on,” said Amy Francis, a UVM student.

“I’m retired, so I don’t have to go anywhere, but the price of food is just as bad,” said Gerald Clausen of Rouses Point, N.Y.

According to AAA, the highest average for regular gas right now is in Franklin County, coming in at $4.59 a gallon. Chittenden and Lamoille Counties are right behind at around $4.55. The lowest in the state right now is Rutland County at around $4.35.

Some feel the high prices could open the doors for transportation alternatives. “They’ve actually got me thinking about going electric,” Nichols said.

“I think with the warmer weather, it’s easier to find other options. I bike to work now,” said Joe Michno, a UVM student.

And while the prices are painful, some Vermonters are hoping it isn’t permanent. “Well, it’s definitely sad, but we’ve been close to this before. People tend to forget that,” said Hope Greenberg of Underhill.

And others note there are pros and cons to a high price. “We are using the money to help and basically help the economies we’re getting fuel from. It kind of sucks right now but it’s also a privilege,” said Marcus Bretto of South Burlington.

According to GasBuddy, Vermont’s prices have ebbed and flowed during the last 10 years. The lowest was $1.86 a gallon in 2016 and the highest prior to this year was $4.01 in 2011.

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