Why are gas prices on Martha's Vineyard among the nation's highest? A federal appellate court examined the matter and found that it was partially the fault of the Martha's Vineyard Commission, an environmental/zoning/land use regulating government body. The Vineyard Gazette reports:
The experts found that gas prices at Vineyard stations exceeded prices on Cape Cod by an average of 56 cents a gallon during a five-year period beginning in 2003. Of that, 21 cents was tracked to transportation costs.
The high federal court sketched a detailed profile of the Vineyard gasoline market which includes regulatory barriers in the form of the Martha's Vineyard Commission, which it described as a "gatekeeper," effectively capping the number of gas stations here.
The Gazette reports that it came out in the court proceedings that one of the existing gas stations hired a consultant to try to get the Commission to deny a plan for a new gas station, which the Commission eventually did deny.