EDINBURGH, Scotland, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Scottish officials expressed concern to their British counterparts that, despite available natural resources, motorists were facing soaring gasoline prices.
The average price for gasoline in the United Kingdom topped $7.50 per gallon in January because of an increase in the fuel duty and taxes.
Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney in a letter to British Chancellor George Osborne said it was "unacceptable" for motorists to face such high prices despite the amount of resources in the area.
He said the British government should introduce a fuel duty regulator to keep gasoline prices in check.
"We also believe a discount on fuel duty should be levied in Scotland's rural and island communities -- two areas hardest hit by rising fuel prices -- and we will continue to push the U.K. government hard for these vital interventions," Swinney wrote to Osborne.
Energy analysts blame a rise in the price of crude oil for part of the increase in gasoline prices. Automotive groups complained that British drivers, who pay more for gasoline than anywhere else in the world, can't afford the price at the pump.