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As gas prices soar in Connecticut, Sen. Blumenthal urges Congress to suspend the federal gas tax

Rich Pedroncelli

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut called on Congress to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax.

Blumenthal said Americans need relief from inflation, which is currently at a 40-year high. Gas prices in Connecticut have gone up about a dollar per gallon from this time last year.

“A lot of people are on the edge. Unable to afford food, medicine. They have to get their kids to school, they have to get to work, their families to health care. Gasoline is an essential,” Blumenthal said at a visit to a gas station in Fairfield on Monday.

Vice President Kamala Harris said this week a Russian invasion of Ukraine could lead to higher energy costs for Americans. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon. Blumenthal’s proposed bill would suspend the tax through the rest of the year.

“Our consumers are hurting. It is a perfect storm of spiraling increases in the cost of everything, but most especially the price of gasoline," Blumenthal said. "Because of world turmoil disrupting supply, Ukraine and Russia in tumult, other factors that could dissipate by the end of the year, and we should suspend this gas tax in the meantime.”

According to a AAA Northeast on Tuesday, Connecticut's statewide average of $3.67 for a gallon of regular gas is four cents higher than last week. Bridgeport residents and those who live in lower Fairfield County pay an average of $3.71. The national average is $3.53.

“Several factors continue to push prices higher,” Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Geopolitical issues, rising crude prices, greater demand and the seasonal conversion to more expensive summer blends are all contributing to higher prices nationally and statewide.”

“How high gas prices will go before the summer drive season is anyone’s guess,” she said.

The national low for gas was $3.18 per gallon in Missouri on Tuesday. The highs were in California and Hawaii at over $4.50 per gallon.

Copyright 2022 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He fell in love with sound-rich radio storytelling while working as an assistant reporter at KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri. Before coming back to radio, he worked in digital journalism as the editor of Newtown Patch. As a freelance reporter, his work for WSHU aired nationally on NPR. Davis is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism; he started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
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