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Here’s Why, in Nome, It’s Still $5.72 a Gallon

Gas prices in downtown Nome, February 2015
Gas prices in downtown Nome, February 2015. photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

Lower gas prices have been making headlines across the USA, but not so in our neck of the woods.

Our supporters may be interested to know that, because of the manner in which rural Alaska distributors obtain gasoline and diesel, our gas prices are immune (temporarily, at least) from the recent plummets in the cost of a barrel of crude oil. At one Nome station, a mere three blocks from KNOM studios, gas prices (as pictured) haven’t changed much in recent years; a gallon of unleaded gasoline stands at $5.72, with a gallon of diesel at $6.34. (Per-gallon prices are even higher in many of the satellite communities we serve.)

As reported recently by first-year KNOM news reporter Francesca Fenzi, the reason why our gas is so costly — and why our gas prices remain high while they’re falling for the rest of the country — is that rural Alaska communities purchase gasoline in bulk in the summertime, when large-scale gas delivery is possible via ocean barge. (As you’ll read here, our coasts are surrounded by ice in the wintertime.)

Since Nome’s current stock of gas has already been purchased, our prices won’t change at the earliest (if at all) until summer, with our next bulk arrival of gas from the Lower 48. Until then, it’s $5.72 a gallon.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.