Gas prices continued to break records Monday in Connecticut where, according to AAA, the average price of an unleaded gallon stood at $4.893, about 3 cents higher than the national average of $4.865.
The all-time-high average represented a 2 cent increase since Sunday and a 66 cent climb in the past month.
However, Connecticut’s gas prices, which have been offset since April by a suspension of a 25 cent per gallon excise tax, were among the lowest in the Northeast region Monday. Only New York, at $4.881 per gallon, had cheaper gasoline, according to AAA. Other neighbors had significantly higher prices. Massachusetts’ average stood at $4.963 and Rhode Island at $4.946. Maine had the highest average in the region Monday at $4.973 per gallon, according to AAA.
In April, Connecticut opted to forgo revenue from its gas tax through a bipartisan bill adopted in an effort to put a damper on rising fuel prices. Lawmakers continued the gas tax holiday through December as part of this year’s budget package.
Last week, Gov. Ned Lamont said he would reevaluate the tax holiday before it expired.
“I have no idea where gas prices are going to be three months from now,” Lamont said Friday. “We’ll take another look at the end of the year.”
The tax holiday did not apply to diesel fuel and on Monday the average cost of a gallon of diesel stood at $6.192, according to AAA. The cost of diesel fuel is expected to increase further next month as a result of an annual adjustment in the tax rate.
Although the yearly adjustment was passed by the legislature in 2007, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowki put the blame on Lamont in a Monday post on his Twitter account citing “another rough weekend for gas prices”
“We should suspend state taxes on gas and make it at least a bit more affordable for residents,” Stefanowski wrote.
During a Monday morning press conference in Hartford, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal called for a number of federal actions to reduce gas prices including suspending an 18.4 cent per gallon tax and allowing the president to declare an emergency on gas prices to give federal regulators greater ability to pursue price gouging claims.
Blumenthal also accused oil companies of profiteering and proposed a new tax on 50% of their additional profits, which he said should be sent back to consumers in the form of a tax rebate. Blumenthal, who is running for reelection amid his lowest polling numbers since 2011, said consumers are understandably angry about prices at the pump.
“Consumers are giving every elected official — local, state, federal and everybody who has any authority — an earful on gasoline prices and I would do the same because I just paid them,” Blumenthal said.