Vt. senator questions gas prices in Burlington

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is asking if northwestern Vermont residents are getting ripped off at the gas pump.

The left-leaning independent is calling for a federal investigation of the fact that gas prices are higher in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties than elsewhere in Vermont or New England.

Sanders says Vermont's gas prices tend to run higher than New Hampshire's. On Monday, regular unleaded averaged $3.55 a gallon in Vermont, versus $3.36 in New Hampshire.

He says Vermont's gas tax is 7 cents a gallon higher, but that doesn't account for a 19-cent difference.

In northwestern Vermont, meanwhile, the average price was $3.63 per gallon.

Sanders has written to the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission asking for an investigation.