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Arizona-California stateline tops nation for biggest gas price difference

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(The Center Square) – For drivers headed to California from Arizona, new data confirms that it’s a better idea to fill the gas tank up before crossing into the Golden State.

GasBuddy released its list of state borders with the biggest gas price differences, and the Arizona/California border topped the list with a $1.05 per gallon average price difference. For example, gas prices in Blythe, California, range from $4.79 to $5.09, whereas the nearby town of Quartzsite, Arizona, ranges from $3.55 to $3.69, according to GasBuddy.

The average gas price in California is $4.90 and $3.80 in Arizona as of Tuesday, according to AAA. Nationally, the average gas price is lower than in both states at $3.64 per gallon.

“Generally, higher California taxes, a different blend of gasoline, and California’s cap and trade program are the culprits,” Patrick De Haan, head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, told The Center Square. “That pushes California to some of the highest prices in the nation.”

Cap-and-trade is a program the state uses to limit carbon emissions from companies, and California also has a $0.58 gas tax, which is the highest in the United States.

In a news release, De Haan suggested that drivers verify prices beforehand, as the cost differences could be significant.

“The difference in gas prices among two bordering states can add up to over $10 on a single tank of gas, potentially costing American travelers hundreds on long road trips in some parts of the country,” he said in the release. “All it takes is 10 seconds to check gas prices on both sides of the border to avoid burning up more money on fuel than you need to. Why pay more?”

Drivers headed to Washington and Oregon from Idaho, which has a lower gas tax, placed second on the list for the biggest price increase for cross-border travelers. Unsurprisingly, the Nevada/California border ranked fourth with a $0.64 change.

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