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Why Nevada gas prices are among the highest in the country

Russia Ukraine War US States
Posted at 8:14 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 11:32:08-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada’s gas prices soaring to a new record high. According to AAA, the average price of gas in the silver state is $4.77. That’s well above the national average of $4.25.

Nevada’s gas prices are the third highest in the country, just below California and Hawaii.

While the surge in pricing is largely due to the crisis in Ukraine, UNLV professor and travel expert Dan Bubb says Nevada has higher prices than the rest of the country has a lot to do with our location.

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“It depends on where we are with respect to oil refineries. For example, if you were to drive into Bakersfield, gas might be $2.50 because you have a bunch of oil fields there in Bakersfield. Since we don’t have many, if any oil fields in Nevada, per se, we tend to pay a little bit more,” Bubb added.

Distance from the supply means higher transportation costs.

According to the Energy Information Administration, California gas prices are generally higher because there aren’t many supply sources that offer California’s unique blend of gas. California’s reformulated gas program is more stringent than the federal government’s program.

Environmental programs can also add to the cost of production, storage, and distribution.

The competition also plays a big role: you’ll often find higher prices in areas with fewer gas stations.

The crisis in Ukraine could have a ripple effect on the rest of the travel industry.

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Bubb is also a former airline pilot and flight instructor. He says airlines do something called hedging fuel prices, which is when they guess how much a barrel of oil is going to cost and set a budget based on that.

If there’s a change to the price of oil, that extra expense could be passed on to the customer, meaning higher airfare.

Bubb says with all of the European Union banning Russian flights from entering their airspace and Russia banning several airlines as well, the alternate routes could also lead to costly international and domestic flights.

“This means more fuel burn, longer flight times, which is inconvenient for the customer... but because of that long time and that additional fuel that needs to be used, that might be passed on in the form of higher fares for customers,” Bubb added.

All these price hikes may have people reconsidering their Spring Break plans in Las Vegas. The city is typically considered a high volume, low fare industry, but with the cost of traveling right now, some may opt to stay home.

What can Nevada expect to pay for gas in the upcoming months? 13 Action News has the updates on what it will take to fill your car's gas tank on ktnv.com/GasPrices.