Now that North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is on the case, we can all breathe easier! He's out to round up those nasty price gougers in the oil business! Gas prices are sure to come down now, right? Yew betcha! Ol' Roy's gonna kick hiney. Problem is the hineys he should be kicking belong to the members of the Legislature and Governor.
"We're Number One! We're Number One!" At $3.04 a gallon for regular unleaded, North Carolina is #1 among the lower 48 states (second only to DC at $3.10 per, according to AAA. Why is that? Well, the state gasoline tax is above the national average now, where it didn't used to be. That's because part of the tax varies, thanks to the tax hungry Legislature and Governor. There is a base of 17.5 cents per gallon, plus that floating part of about 10 cents a gallon now (7% of the average wholesale price of gasoline for the previous 6 months). Governor Easley, unlike other Governors, says that won't change.
So, send your thanks to Mike Easley, c/o Governor's Mansion, Raleigh, NC. While you're at it thank your local legislator for the sliding scale which will insure North Carolina's gas taxes will rise even more in the future. While you're at it, let the AG know he ought to be looking in Raleigh for the real problem.
UPDATE (10/10/05 at 4:00pm) I see Chad Adams is also wondering about this in his post at The Locker Room.