PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald is blaming the Environmental Protection Agency for the county’s higher gas prices.
The gasoline currently coming out of the terminals are two blends, RVP summer blend gas rolling to Allegheny County pumps and regular stuff heading for the surrounding counties.
The RVP gas in Allegheny County costs about six cents more per gallon and climbing.
“We should be treated exactly the same as Westmoreland County, Beaver County, Butler County, et cetera, western Pennsylvania. Again, it just doesn’t make sense,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald says they’re waiting for word from the EPA to lift the requirement to burn the more expensive summer blend, but they haven’t heard anything yet.
“We’re hopeful. I just think this is so unfair that the Trump administration and the EPA are making Allegheny County residents pay more for gas than everybody else around us,” he said.
As the cross-county-line difference grows, Fitzgerald worries about gas stations along the borders.
“If you’re on a county line and you can go across the line and get it 10 cents, 20 cents, 30 cents cheaper, people are going to do that,” he said.
Not to mention the fact that everyone in his county has to pay those higher gas prices.
County council approved the switch in fuel at the end of February, sent it to the state and then on to the feds by March 20, but the EPA says it has procedures to follow that could take up to three months.
“Yeah, but they seem to speed up processes when they want to,” Fitzgerald said. “Our Congressional delegation is working. Congressman Doyle and Congressman Lamb, Senator Toomey, Senator Casey have been working on this, trying to get movement. I can’t, don’t understand why they’re not moving on this.”
Fitzgerald says the county moved as quickly as it could to get this done.
“This is the EPA. This is all on the EPA at this point,” he said.
The more expensive gas is already in the distributors’ tanks, so even if the EPA gave a thumbs up today, the higher prices will continue until the expensive stuff is gone.