Some UP counties see gas prices near $5 despite nationwide declines

GasBuddy and AAA said competition, supply and demand all contribute to higher prices in Marquette and Houghton counties
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:24 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2022 at 5:44 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Gas prices in some U.P. counties are much higher than the state average right now. That is despite declines in cost across the country during the past month.

Counties like Marquette and Houghton, though, continue to see prices near $5 a gallon. GasBuddy’s Head of Petroleum Analysis, Patrick De Haan, said one reason could be competition.

“Stations are slowly passing along the decrease to absorb the margin,” said De Haan. “Contrary to popular beliefs, stations do worse when prices are going up and they do better when prices come down.”

AAA Spokesperson Adrienne Woodland said there are other factors.

“There’s a variety of reasons, such as supply, demand, what it costs to get gasoline to those particular places, as well as the availability of different gasoline stations and things like that in the community,” Woodland said.

According to AAA, Marquette County’s average is $4.99 per gallon. That is compared to a $4.69 average in Dickinson County and $4.66 in Delta County. Alger, Baraga and Menominee counties’ averages are even lower.

Woodland said drivers should lighten their loads for better fuel economy and create a game plan.

“It’s really important to combine your errands while you’re driving,” said Woodland. “So, if you have to go to the bank and the grocery store, plan ahead so that you kind of go in the same area. And, it reduces your driving time.”

Despite economic uncertainty, De Haan is optimistic about Michigan prices reaching another milestone sooner rather than later.

“I am hopeful that maybe, if not by August or September, we could see prices back under $4.00 a gallon by the end of the year,” De Haan said. “Down in Detroit, some stations are only 20 cents a gallon away.”

Although, that could change if a major hurricane hits refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

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