As Democrats at the State Capitol look for new ways to saddle hardworking families with more debt, Coloradans are already looking at higher gas prices.  According to a report published by the American Automobile Association, the cost per gallon of gasoline in Colorado has jumped 21 cents in the past week alone to $3.17 per gallon.  Unfortunately, this isn’t a fluke.  According to the January gas report:

“Gas prices are expected to rise steadily [in February] as many refineries temporarily close for scheduled turnaround maintenance and as the industry begins the complicated process of switching over to summer blends of gasoline.  Various summer-gasoline blends are required in many regions to meet local air quality standards, but the fuels cost more to produce and the changeover process can disrupt supplies in the spring.”

While this may seem like a lot to pay for a gallon of gas, just four states have lower gas prices than Colorado – Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.  If the prices seem to be a hindrance to the economic recovery here, consider the challenges that families are facing in California where the average price per gallon is $3.91 per gallon.

To put it in perspective, the 2013 Ford Explorer XLT gas tank holds 18.6 gallons of gasoline.  When a family in Colorado fills up its Ford Explorer, it costs approximately $59.  But, when that same family fills up its gas tank in California, it costs nearly $73.  Over the course of a month, driving to and from dance lessons, soccer practice and school, that can make a big difference in a budget.  In fact, this morning, CNBC noted that every one cent increase in gas prices costs consumers $100 million per month.

Colorado families already pay approximately 23 cents per gallon of gasoline in taxes. When Democrats starting talking fuel tax increases, as they did in the TBD report, Colorado’s families would do well to say no thank you.