BUCKHANNON — It’s no secret that the price of gasoline is much higher in the Buckhannon area compared to surrounding areas.
For local gas and oilfield workers, high gas prices are good news. That may sound odd – who wants to pay more for gas? Think about it this way; when gas prices drop significantly, it causes oilfield workers to be laid off. With West Virginia having a large oilfield employment rate, the major drop in prices could affect many residents livelihood. With that in mind, when gas prices are high, so is the demand for workers; when the gas prices drop, the demand is lower for those workers.
Although gas prices in Buckhannon are usually higher than Weston or Elkins, lately the prices are significantly more expensive. The difference is not just a few cents here or there anymore, it is causing patrons to travel out of Buckhannon to purchase gas.
According to gasprices.aaa.com, the average price of gasoline per gallon, in the United States is $3.33/gallon. In Upshur County, the average price, per gallon, is $3.19. In Lewis and Randolph County, gas averages at $3.03/gallon.
Omegawv.com states, “The retail price of gasoline is affected by a variety of factors, including the supply and price of crude oil, refinery operations, transportation, retail overhead and taxes. The second major contributor to the price of gasoline is the amount of tax that is paid. In West Virginia, our state tax is now 33.4 cents per gallon. Furthermore, federal tax is an additional 18.4 cents per gallon. In West Virginia every time you fill up, you pay 51.8 cents tax on every gallon. That is a lot of tax! In WV, we pay 1.7 cents per gallon more in tax on each gallon of gas than the national average.”
As of press time on January 24, according to gasbuddy.com, Elkins Sheetz regular gasoline is priced at $3.09/gallon and Weston Sheetz regular gasoline is priced at $2.94/gallon. Generally, Weston and Elkins have the same prices however, the Weston Sheetz now competes to match the prices of the neighboring gas station, Walmart.
The local Sheetz regular gasoline is currently priced at $3.19/gallon, while just across the street, at Exxon, the price is $3.21/gallon. Why is Buckhannon 10-15 cents more expensive per gallon?
Upshur County residents have questioned if it is a matter of the city wanting to raise taxes are leading to a higher price. However, local gas stations have noted that each station has the right to price their own gasoline however they please, especially while competing with other locations.
“West Virginia has approximately 1450 retail locations that sell gasoline. The average station sells approximately 48,517 gallons per month. Typically, when a station sells fewer gallons they charge more for it to allow them to cover the fixed costs (payroll, facilities, and insurance) for their business. Stations with large volumes can often sell their products for less,” says omegawv.com
Will Upshur County see lower prices? Only time will tell.