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Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and state Senators Bill Wielechowski (D) and Bettye Davis (D) have called for an investigation into the price of gasoline in Alaska, which is the highest in the nation.
The two senators called on Attorney General Talis Colberg to probe why prices in Alaska are about 75 cents above the national average, when Alaska has one of the lowest gasoline taxes in the nation and most of the gasoline used is produced locally, according to the Associated Press and other reports.
"How is that people in Wichita, Kansas, pay 84 cents less for a gallon of gas than we do in Anchorage, when their gas tax is three times ours?" Sen. Wielechowski asked. "Alaskan drivers deserve to know why they're paying so much for fuel. Are we getting gouged?"
When the national average price for gasoline was $3.88 per a gallon, Alaska's average was $4.62 per gallon, with costs higher than $6 per gallon in some rural areas.
"For the average Alaskan who drives to work and picks their kids up from school, these prices are staggering," Sen. Davis said. "Consumers are feeling pinched. We need to find out what's happening, why the prices are so high."
Sen. Wielechowski noted that the average price of gas in Anchorage was $2.95 per gallon one year ago. The average price nationally at that time was $2.82. Since then the gap has widened.
"Soaring prices at the pump are putting pressure on a lot of people. We need to know the truth about why they're so inflated."