Gas price break hasn't hit Alaska

Cost per gallon down 20 cents on average in rest of country, only 2 to 10 cents in state

Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2005

Kenai Peninsula and Alaska residents are not feeling the same relief from high gasoline prices that are being enjoyed elsewhere in the United States.

The average price of regular gasoline in Kenai and Soldotna is $2.86 per gallon — 2 cents lower than a month ago. Anchorage has seen an average drop of about 10 cents in the last week to $2.58 per gallon, according to AAA's fuel gauge report. Nationally, the average price has dropped about 20 cents during the same time period to $2.57 per gallon, according to the report.

AAA Spokesman Justin McNaull said once summer is over, gasoline prices usually drop as demand decreases. With high prices this summer, he said many consumers changed their consumption behavior to deal with the high gasoline prices.

But Alaska did not have the same shock to its gasoline distribution system, meaning that prices did not have as far to fall, he said.

"Alaskans didn't feel the brunt of Katrina and Rita at the pump," he said.

Meanwhile, diesel prices in Alaska have dropped while the national average has gone up, according to a press release issued by AAA.

Nationally, the average price of diesel increased by about 12 percent since this time last month to $3.21 per gallon. In Alaska that price decreased by 6 percent to $2.86 per gallon, according to the press release.

Industry experts say diesel prices are on the rise because global demand is increasing faster for diesel than it is for gasoline.

Refineries also were producing gasoline at the expense of diesel to meet rising demand following the hurricanes, the release said.

However, in Alaska local refineries have been able to keep up with the diesel demand decreasing prices

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