Massachusetts Gas Nears $5 Per Gallon Average
The gas station is increasingly becoming the place where no one wants to be.
Prices have surged past the $5 a gallon mark at many stations and averaged out at $4.96 in AAA's latest survey, taking a bigger bite out of household and business budgets and hitting low-income residents hard.
The average has risen 23 cents per gallon in just the last week, is 66 cents higher than this time last month, and prices are $2.03 per gallon higher than last June. Gas prices here this week are 10 cents higher per gallon than the national average.
"People are still fueling up, despite these high prices," said Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast Director of Public and Government Affairs. "At some point, drivers may change their daily driving habits or lifestyle due to these high prices, but we are not there yet."
The Massachusetts Legislature has so far resisted gas tax relief measures taken in other states, and faces continuing criticism from relief proponents who say the state should share some of the billions in unbudgeted tax revenues to help out motorists.
Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance spokesman Paul Craney said Monday alleged a rationale for legislative leaders seeming to be "unfazed by the record price of gasoline in Massachusetts."
"The climate lobby and their allies hold tremendous influence over Beacon Hill leadership, and for them, $5 a gallon gas is a feature of their program, not a bug in the economic system. They want families to be unable to afford fuel in order to change their driving habits, and they are not particularly picky about how they make that happen," Craney said in a statement.
— Michael P. Norton, State House News Service