SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — AAA is projecting that almost 100,000 South Dakotans will travel 50 miles or more over the Memorial Day weekend. KELOLAND News spoke with congressman Dusty Johnson and his primary challenger, Taffy Howard, today about what can be done in Washington D.C. to help bring down gas prices.

90 percent of them will be driving which means filling up with gas that is averaging over $4 a gallon.

As people in KELOLAND grapple with rising food and housing prices, they’re also feeling pain at the pump.

Nationally, gasoline prices hit record highs this week, with average prices above $4 a gallon. The average price in South Dakota sits at 4 dollars and 20 cents a gallon, according to the latest information from AAA.
Congressman Dustry Johnson says there are things the government can do to lower prices.

“We need to begin to reinvest in American energy infrastructure I mean, shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline was a mistake, President Biden has been slow to greenlight homegrown American energy like E-15 and so we’ve got the stuff we need in the ground and we’ve got the stuff we need growing in our cornfields we need to have an all of the above approach to getting more fuel on the market that’s going to bring prices down,” said Johnson.

His Republican primary opponent Taffy Howard says government spending needs to be reigned in.

“I think we need to get back to focusing on that energy independence and stopping the spending that plays into everything talk to any economist out there right now and that’s what’s driving the inflation which affects all costs whether its gas weather it’s milk whether it’s the shortages we are seeing in baby formula,” said Howard. 28:28

Diesel is selling for an average price of $5.38 a gallon, we found it as high as $5.65.

Both Johnson and Howard say if truckers are paying more for fuel, that means we are paying more for just about everything else.

When asked about oil companies and their profits, neither felt the need to go after big oil saying supply and demand is determining the current market.

While paying over $4 a gallon is painful for South Dakotans, it could be worse, in California prices are topping $6.5 a gallon. Some stations offer a 4 to 5 cent per gallon discount if you pay cash. Tonight gas is more expensive in Rapid City than in Sioux Falls. Regular gas on average costs $4.29 in Rapid, while it’s $4.15 in Sioux Falls.