Not only are New York drivers facing record-high gas prices for this time of year; they are paying more than motorists in every state except Hawaii.
“New York is always going to be pretty high, but what has really elevated prices more significantly is the situation following Hurricane Sandy,” said Gregg Laskoski, petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com. “We are recovering from that, but the recovery has not been as pronounced as the damage.”
Also, “retailers may be capitalizing on the opportunity to gain a little additional margin,” he said.
The statewide average for regular gasoline rang in at $3.70 a gallon Monday, 46 cents higher than the national average of $3.24, according to GasBuddy.com. The record price comes at the busiest travel time of the year.
Gas is even more expensive in the New York City area, where refinery damage after Superstorm Sandy last month caused distribution problems and supply shortages.
Monday’s average in the metro area was $3.77 for a gallon of regular gas, about 20 cents higher than a year ago and the highest ever for Christmas week, Laskoski said.
Gas prices in the New York metro area also hit holiday highs on Labor Day and Thanksgiving weekends this year.
Regardless of the cost of gas, Suffern resident Joe Toutebon planned to stay in the neighborhood for Christmas, but high gas prices in recent months have made him think twice about taking trips, he said.
“If you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t go anywhere,” Toutebon said. Since the summer, his longest drive has been 130 miles to eastern Connecticut.
Soaring fuel costs this year in different parts of the country shared the same cause, Laskoski noted.
“All the price spikes regionally were related to refinery issues,” he said. “We could see price spikes that are due to problems in the Middle East, speculation on Wall Street, speculation in the commodities market. 2012 was a year really characterized by the vulnerability (of) our refining infrastructure.”
Source: The Journal News