Responses range from acceptance to blaming Biden
By Guy Page
Good news! You can still buy regular-grade gas for less than $4/gallon – if you drive to the Northeast Kingdom town of Orleans to buy it. Or at least you could buy gas at $3.99/gallon two days ago, according to the Gas Buddy listings of cheapest and most expensive gasoline stations in Vermont.
(Caution: Gas Buddy does not list every gas station in Vermont. The registry-crazy Vermont Legislature has not (yet!) passed a law creating a registry of gas stations and their daily prices. Gas Buddy seems to rely on regular ‘reporters’ for its latest gas prices.)
But bad news, if you are running on empty in Johnson. The Shell station/Maplefields on Rte. 15 has a terrific deli, but if you can wait, you might want to drive a few miles further to gas up. They’re charging $5.19/gallon, the highest price for gasoline in the state. (Gas Buddy doesn’t say if it’s premium or regular.) 10 miles east on Rte. 15 in Morrisville you’ll find two stations selling at the “low” price of $4.29.
There’s also a good news/bad news scenario when comparing Vermont against the rest of the nation. The average Vermont price is a mere $4.35, compared to a national average of $4.38 – a three cent savings. Vermont doesn’t often come off as an energy-saving bargain compared to the rest of the United States, but we’re (barely) on the right side of the median gas price – for now.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that from a week ago, we’re up 35 cents; from a month ago, up 82 cents; and from a year ago, up $1.61.
Only two of the priciest service stations are located in Chittenden County. However, both serve large and somewhat “captive” markets of convenience. The Richmond Mobil ($4.59) is the only off-ramp gas station for the busy I-89 commute between Williston and Waterbury. The downtown Burlington Mobil station ($4.49) is across Bank Street from a parking garage and across South Winooski Avenue from City Market, where downtown residents pay a premium to buy groceries at a convenient location.
Two days ago I paid $4.29 at a full-service gas station on Rte. 2 in Montpelier. The price was a dime cheaper than the usually bargain-basement Cumberland Farms up the highway. The cheerful, capable gas attendant said only a few people had stopped to top off the tank that day – a fact that surprised both her, and me.
She commutes daily from Richmond, a 60 mile round-trip. That’s about $10 just to get to and from work. “What are you going to do?,” she said with a smile. “You have to get to work.”
Somewhat less accepting of high gas prices is longtime Vermont and national policy critic Doug Richmond of Underhill. The retired office supply store operator and longtime letter-to-the-editor writer wrote to Vermont Daily Chronicle this morning about this message from a sister in California: “My gas tank was close to empty when I went to my cheap gas station this afternoon. I watched as it went up and up. $95!”
“$95 to fill a family vehicle is total absurdity, and only ‘necessary’ because of the election of one man for president. Batty
Biden!,” Richmond wrote. “He alone is responsible, as his foggy brain believes we alone in the USA can save the planet, by freezing in the cold.”