Carson City gas prices highest in Nevada

Carson City gas prices are the highest in Nevada, according to the latest report by the American Automobile Association.

Statewide, the average price of gasoline at the pump increased16 cents over the past month to $2.21 a gallon.

In Carson City, the average price was $2.26 - the highest reporting area in the state and 24 cents higher than in September.

Michael Geeser of AAA Nevada blamed record costs of crude oil as a result of recent hurricanes and seasonal maintenance at west coast refineries.

Peter Krueger of the Nevada Petroleum Marketers said the core of the problem begins with oil speculators who are driving the price per barrel up worldwide. But he said gas prices in Nevada are further increased by the fact the state is "at the end of the pipe from California."

But before complaining too loudly, Carson City residents should probably take a look up the hill at South Lake Tahoe where the average price per gallon is $2.55.

Krueger said California demand for gasoline has increased dramatically along with demands form the rest of the world, including emerging countries such as China.

"Output and demand are about equal for the first time in, probably, history," he said. "And that demand is driving up the price."

Nevada, he said, gets what's left after California's demand is satisfied and retailers here have traditionally had to pay more than most parts of the country.

As for why Carson City is higher than the Reno area, he said he didn't have an answer. Reno area prices were averaging $2.24 a gallon and Carson has traditionally been a penny or two lower. This month, it's a penny or two higher.

But Krueger said both markets depend on the same pipeline from California which dictates the price Nevadans pay for gas.

Geeser said the West should get some relief in the next couple of weeks when annual maintenance at refineries is finished and they go back on line. But, he said, the next step will be for those refineries to switch to winter production which means more diesel and more heating oil and therefore less gasoline.

"The demand for gasoline is so strong and the supply is stretched so thin that consumers continue to come out on the short end of the economic stick," Geeser said.

The cheapest gas in the state is in Elko but Krueger said that isn't a surprise because the gas in that area comes from Utah where the average price is about $1.87 a gallon.

"They've got refineries in Salt Lake and their taxes are a little less. And most of their crude is coming out of Wyoming so they're not tied to the California market."

In Las Vegas, the average price was $2.21 a gallon.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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