Everybody always complains about how expensive gas is in Oregon and the Rogue Valley, but when I travel, especially into California, it seems like their prices are as high or higher. Do we really have it all that bad here?
— Sylvia P., Medford
Well, Sylvia, we actually think we have it pretty good here — nice weather, nice people, not much crime or congestion compared with a lot of places. ... but, wait, you were asking about gas prices, weren't you? Oh, in that case, yes, we do have it bad here.
In the current online listing by gasbuddy.com, Oregon has the ninth-highest prices among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our current rate of $3.995 per gallon puts us just lower than No. 8, our nation's capital, Washington, D.C., where gas was listed at $3.999 (of course, we understand they run most of their vehicles on hot air, which apparently is abundant there).
The state with the lowest price per gallon Monday was South Carolina at $3.601, followed by Mississippi, Texas and Alabama. The most expensive state to buy gas is — no surprise — Hawaii, at $4.393. Next in line was Connecticut at $4.137.
You said when you travel, "especially in California," the prices seem just as high or higher. That's because California has the third-highest prices overall, at $4.125 a gallon. It's not much better going north, where Washington state was listed as sixth-highest, at $4.029.
Just to rub it in, the AAA website has a national map color-coded to represent prices, with colors ranging in various shades of blue and red. The Gulf states, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado are in dark blue, which is good. The entire West Coast is a rather vivid red. We probably don't need to tell you this, but that's not good.
Then again, we don't have to live in Texas or the Gulf states. Chalk one up for the Northwest.
Email questions to email@example.com.