Gas was most expensive in greater Portland and lowest but still nearing record levels in Bangor and points north on Monday after a nationwide price surge.
The average price for a regular gallon of gas across Maine rose above $4 on Monday for the first time in more than a decade. Prices have been steadily rising over the past year as the post-pandemic economic rebound led to increased travel and consumption. Russia’s war on Ukraine has further driven up prices across the U.S. and in Maine during the past week.
The record prices have pushed Mainers to look for cheaper gas. Gas stations in towns across northern and downeast Maine were more likely to still report prices under $4 per gallon as of Monday afternoon — although only barely, according to GasBuddy, which tracks gas prices.
In Portland, a handful of gas stations were still selling gas for $3.99 per gallon as of Monday afternoon, according to GasBuddy, but many were charging upward of $4.25 a gallon. By contrast, more than half a dozen locations in Bangor were still charging less than $4 per gallon as of Monday, GasBuddy said.
At the county level, York, Cumberland and Franklin counties saw the highest average prices on Monday, according to AAA, with each just shy of 10 cents higher than the state average. The high gas prices in Maine fit with a national trend. Across the U.S., the average price for a gallon of gas as of Monday was $4.07, according to AAA.
There is little sign that prices will drop in the short-term as Congress is considering a full ban on Russian energy imports, which could drive up prices further. Rep. Laurel Libby, R-Auburn, proposed suspending the state gas tax for the rest of 2022. Members of Congress have floated halting the federal tax in light of high prices, but it is not clear that either bid will gain traction.