Senate gas-prices hearing convenes Monday at Burlington City Hall (Burlington Free Press)
August 7, 2012
By Dan D’Ambrosio
Joseph Choquette III of the Vermont Petroleum Association was on the hot seat Monday afternoon as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pressed him to explain high gas prices in the Burlington area at a Senate field hearing at City Hall.
Noting that retail prices for gas in the Burlington area were down — even though wholesale prices were up — since he began drawing attention to gas prices in northwest Vermont in July, Sanders asked Choquette whether he thought this “public discussion” was responsible for the drop in prices.
“We can neither prove or disprove that theory, but you have the right to say that,” Choquette replied.
In his opening remarks at the hearing, Choquette pointed out that Vermont’s annual gasoline sales of 329 million gallons is the lowest in the lower 48 United States, and second only to Alaska among all of the states.
“This is a small market served by as many as five terminals located in four states and two counties,” Choquette said. “It is a complex market with many challenges: the distance to refineries, high real estate costs, strict environmental regulations and high taxes.”
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Tags: Energy, Oil