ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Legal Newsline)- Attorney General Talis Colberg is being urged to investigate why Alaskans are paying more for gasoline than most Americans.
Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and two Democratic state lawmakers say they want to know why Alaskans are paying about 75 cents a gallon more than the national average.
Palin and Sens. Bill Wielchowski and Bettye Davis say that doesn't make sense since Alaska has one of the lowest gasoline taxes in the nation and most of the state's gasoline supply is produced locally.
"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," Wielechowski said. "Alaskan drivers deserve to know why they're paying so much for fuel. Are we getting gouged?"
Nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.88 a gallon. In Alaska, the average is $4.62 a gallon, with prices significantly higher in rural areas.
Officials said in the letter that a year ago, the gap between national prices and Alaska prices was just 13 cents a gallon.
"Are we getting gouged?" the letter asked the attorney general.
Davis said high gas prices are gripping Alaska families.
"For the average Alaskan who drives to work and picks their kids up from school, these prices are staggering," Davis said. "Consumers are feeling pinched. We need to find out what's happening, why the prices are so high."
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.