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Gas prices challenge Billings residents

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Posted at 6:19 PM, May 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 08:28:02-04

BILLINGS - Triple-A and GasBuddy each show the average price of gasoline in Montana at about the same and AAA has the price in Billings at $4.249/gallon. Some analysts predict prices could hit $6 nationwide.

CHS refinery in Laurel gave a tour on Friday to Sen. Steve Danes, R-Mont., and some in the energy industry.

The price of gasoline has affected how some people drive

"It makes it difficult to like literally get to like job interviews because you have to worry about, am I gonna be able to make it," said Stanley Jones of Billings.

"I'm trying to minimize where I go how often I go," said Jennie Bodine of Billings. "Have to pinch more pennies, cut corners where I can. Just make sure I can keep going."

"Can't even afford to take a trip to Kalispell where most of my family's at to go see them," said Ronald Krause of Billings.

After a tour of the CHS refinery on Friday, Senator Danes met with those in the energy industry about American and Montana produced energy.

"We need more crude oil and we need more oil coming from America and North America," Daines said.

In March Senator Jon Tester said: "Our nation needs to make bold moves to secure our affordable domestic fuel supply by incentivizing responsible domestic oil and gas production and emphasize trade with allies like Canada."

CHS vice president of refining Jim Irwin said crude oil at $115 per barrel and other expenses have raised gasoline prices.

"All the increases in commodity pricing, electrical and natural gas labor," Irwin said about what adds to the retail price.

A year ago AAA had the average in Montana at $2.914. Now at $4.353 a gallon it's about a 33% increase.

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Courtesy: AAA

"Five bucks before it used to get me to a quarter of a tank," Jones said. "Now it doesn't even like move the gauge at all."

"Maybe a half a tank of gas for $33," Bodine said.

"I used to be able to fill that truck for about 50 bucks, " Krause said. "Now it's up over a hundred dollars."