Gas prices jump 26 cents in one week, Utah governor blames supply
Feb 6, 2023, 6:44 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2023, 6:02 am
SALT LAKE CITY — Gas prices have shot up 40 cents over the last month in Utah, bringing the average cost of a regular gallon of gas to just under $3.67 as of Monday.
The price jump comes much sooner than usual as drivers are seeing increases that generally come in March due to more cars on the roads resulting in a higher demand for gas.
In a Monday statement, Gov. Spencer Cox said, “due to the regional supply decrease, those price increases have jumpstarted earlier than expected.”
The amount is still much lower than Utah’s highest recorded average of $5.26 a gallon, which it hit last July.
Cox said prices were starting to get back to normal when a Utah refinery closed for annual maintenance. He said it took longer than expected to get back up and running.
Adding to the strain on supply, the governor said a refinery in Colorado shut down in December because of malfunctioning equipment. It is expected to be back online in March, he said.
“Unfortunately, this comes on top of an increase in natural gas prices, and we’re very concerned about those struggling to make ends meet,” Cox said in the statement. “Energy costs affect us all but disproportionately impact those with lower incomes and larger families.”
On Monday, Utah’s average price of a gallon of regular gas was 26 cents more than last week, 40 cents more than last month, and about 20 cents more than the national average.
“For the last week, I’ve just been watching the gas prices jump up,” said Steve Sandberg while filling up near the point of the mountain. “It is a little concerning to me.”
Sandberg works at Camp Williams for the Utah National Guard.
“It doesn’t impact me as much as some of the soldiers I work with who are just starting out their careers or who don’t have a career,” he expressed.
“The problem with gas prices going up is it affects everything. It affects the little things we do. Groceries in particular,” AJ Stosich added as he filled up at a gas station in Lehi. “It affects people who are crunched for money, living paycheck to paycheck. I think that’s one of the most difficult aspects of this and the economy.”
Stosich and other drivers worry the early start to the price increases may be a sign of more to come.
“When you see them going up in January, you know it’s going to be worse in the summer. And that just affects everything we do,” he said.
Cox said they’ve met with refinery and public utility providers to make sure they’re working to keep costs low.
“The HEAT program provides energy assistance to those with incomes at or below 150% of the poverty level. We also have great partnerships with Dominion Energy and Rocky Mountain Power that provide additional credits for low-income households.”