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Colorado gas prices stable after switch to cleaner fuel on northern front range

© iStock - wingedwolf
Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – The prediction of significant price increases for gasoline haven’t materialized in Colorado after a federal regulation mandated reformulated gas.

Coloradans paid $3.36 a gallon Monday, down from $3.77 a year ago, according to AAA. The national average was $3.50 a gallon and it was $3.53 a year ago. The average price per gallon in the state was up 5 cents per gallon from last week’s price of $3.31.

The national price also increased approximately 5 cents per gallon before the Fourth of July holiday week as oil surpassed $80 per barrel, according to AAA.

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© iStock - jovannig

In April, Colorado Governor Jared Polis wrote the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a request to waive a requirement from the Clean Air Act mandating the sale of reformulated gasoline when ozone standards exceed certain benchmarks. Polis also sent a letter in 2022 to the EPA outlining the potential economic harm the mandate would cause the state, including higher prices at the pump for consumers.

Polis predicted the price per gallon could increase approximately 60 cents per gallon if the requirement wasn't waived. His letter also estimated Coloradans would pay an additional $2.9 million per day for gasoline while experiencing "nearly imperceptible reductions to ozone concentrations."

“These extraordinary measures may include actions like significant increases in trucking in products resulting in environmental impacts Colorado is working to minimize,” Polis wrote in his 11-page letter. “Any supply shortages could significantly hamper Colorado’s economy and undermine adequate consumer supply.”

The EPA requirement began June 1 and ends Sept. 15 for nine counties along the Northern Front Range – Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld.

Reformulated gas burns more cleanly than regular gas and reduces pollutants. It’s currently required in California, in states along the east coach from New Hampshire to Virginia, and in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kentucky, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The highest price per gallon in the state was in Durango at $3.68, according to AAA. The lowest price per gallon was in Grand Junction at $3.22. Consumers in Denver were paying $3.32 per gallon and in Boulder were paying $3.36 per gallon.