By CHRISTINA M. CURRIE
Daily Press writer
At $1.39 a gallon, gasoline prices in Craig remain significantly higher than the state average of $1.10.
"People feel like they're being gouged," Craig Chamber of Commerce Director Cathy Vanatta said.
Vanatta said she received several complaints from both hunters and business owners about the high price of gasoline in Craig compared with prices in other Colorado cities and other states.
Last week, gasoline sold for 89 cents a gallon in Cheyenne, Wyo.
Gasoline prices dropped an average of 2.1 cents across Colorado last week, and 1.4 cents a gallon nationwide.
This is the first time since June 2000 that Colorado's gas prices have been below the nationwide average, which is now $1.11 a gallon.
Of the nine cities charted by the AAA Colorado Gas Prices Survey, Craig follows Vail, where the price is $1.40 a gallon.
Pueblo remains at the bottom of the price index at $1.01 a gallon.
"I don't understand why gas is so much cheaper in other cities," Craig resident David Thompson said. "Most of them are just as remote and out-of-the-way as Craig is."
Since gasoline is a by-product of crude oil, its prices are based on the oil market.
As tensions ease in the Middle East, crude oil prices have steadily dropped from $20 a barrel to $18.
AAA Colorado Spokeswoman Mary Greer expects gasoline prices to continue to decrease as the Christmas holiday approaches, because holiday travel is expected to decline 6 percent this year.
Another contributing factor to the decline in prices has been the unseasonably warm fall weather, which decreases the demand for heating oil and lowers the prices of crude oil.
"I don't know what affects gas prices, and I don't care," Kremmling resident Louis Mann said. "It's about time they went down. Maybe in a few months they'll go down here."
Mann is a truck driver who passes through Craig about once a week, and said gas prices in Kremmling are routinely 10 cents lower than prices in Craig.
"I avoid filling up here if I can," he said.
Gasoline prices could increase if there is an oil production cutback, which is being supported by OPEC, and has been opposed by non-OPEC countries.
The cutback could increase the price of crude oil to $22 to $25 per barrel.