Nov. 23–Northland drivers can usually save a few cents shopping around for gas. If you live in Duluth, you can now save a few dollars leaving the city to fill up.
Gas prices in the city were hovering around $2.65 per gallon on Thursday. In Cloquet they were as low as $2.40.
“There’s no price leadership here,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. “Everyone’s milking it, as it were.”
DeHaan says that gas prices are expected to come down and remain low into the next several weeks, but for various reasons Duluth stations aren’t budging as much as the rest of the state and region.
“Part of the reluctance is station owners don’t know if these low prices will stick around,” he said. “Over time, somebody will go down a few pennies, but for all the flak that gas stations get in falling too slowly, they often can’t raise prices fast enough.”
How much stations paid for the gas that’s in their storage tanks will affect the per-gallon price — as will the prices of nearby competitors. DeHaan said this year’s Husky refinery fire and ongoing shutdown have little to do with gas prices, since the refinery largely produces heavier products like asphalt.
Across Minnesota, the average gallon of gas cost $2.49 on Thursday, according to AAA. The best prices can be found in the middle of the state, with areas like Morrison County reporting $2.29 a gallon. The highest average price in the state was $2.74 in Lake County.
Prices in the region are a few cents more expensive than they were last Thanksgiving, though nationally prices are about the same.
“The nearly 49 million Americans hitting the road for Thanksgiving will find pump prices similar to last year,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said in a news release. “When it comes time to fill-up during the trip, motorists should keep in mind that gas stations along highly traveled routes may find prices more expensive than in-town.”
The Twin Cities metro reported gas prices around $2.59 on Thursday.
For those travelling east over the holiday weekend, gas prices were highest in Wisconsin’s northern counties — $2.73 in Sawyer and Iron counties on Thursday — and lowest along Lake Michigan.
DeHaan recommends looking for the best deals on a regular basis, not just during holiday travel, since even small savings can add up.
“Everyone pores over the Black Friday ads looking for the best TV,” he said. “They don’t realize if they shop around for gas they could get a free 4K TV.”
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