Gas Prices Rise in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County

Residents of Allegheny County might see even higher gas prices than those who live in neighboring counties.

Larry Richert and John Shumway
April 22, 2019 - 9:17 am
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PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – John Shumway wants to know: Why is there such disparity in this country as to what we are paying for a gallon of gas?

The Pittsburgh average is currently $3.05 a gallon according to Triple A. That's 28 cents higher that last month.  

“It has to do with our taxes,” Don Bowers with Countywide Petroleum told John on KDKA Radio Monday. “Our taxes are the highest in the country. Also, over the last week, the gasoline prices in Pittsburgh went up 16 cents while the surrounding areas – Cleveland, West Virginia - stayed pretty much stationary.”

Residents of Allegheny County might see even higher gas prices than those who live in neighboring counties.

“The reason for that I think is because of this Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) that’s required in Allegheny County right now. They start making it in March, and the terminals have to turn the tanks in April. May 1st is the time that the summer gasoline, or the RVP, the low vapor pressure gasoline for Allegheny County hits the market. That’s when we are required to take it to the gas stations.”

Allegheny County Council approved the change from lower vapor gas in February. Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties are also no longer required by the EPA to sell RVP gasoline during the summer months. So why is Allegheny County still selling RVP gasoline?

Bowers said that the EPA has to have a written notice that it is not required to use the lower vapor pressure gasoline in Allegheny County.  “They haven’t done that yet. They will not supply anything other than that until that happens because, if they do, one person can come in and sue major oil companies for putting the regular gasoline that’s required in all the other counties into the market. They could win a lot of money.”

 “You’re going to have that lower vapor gasoline in Allegheny County until it runs out, even if the EPA said okay today. It’s going to have to get to the system,” Bowers said. “All the tanks have been changed over to the lower pressure gasoline and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s a higher cost gasoline and like you see, the prices can be anywhere from 10 to 40, 50 cents a gallon higher just in Allegheny County.”

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