PORT CHESTER/RYE, N.Y. Traditionally, gas prices around the country rise during the summer, peak in August and begin to drop after the busy Labor Day weekend. This year, Rye and Port Chester drivers may not be seeing price relief at the pumps for some time.
With Hurricane Isaac knocking out power to countless refineries on the Gulf Coast and an unsettled situation in the Mideast, gas prices in the state have risen an average of 13 cents in the past week, to $4.13 a gallon, the third-highest in the continental United States. The national average sits at $3.87 as of Thursday, more than 20 cents higher than a year ago.
Immediate relief should not be expected, AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair Jr. said. Things can change by the day, depending on various factors.
This is really a day-to-day progression. Things happen overseas we cannot control and prices can change significantly from one day to the next, he said. People were popping champagne after we hit an April peak and prices started to drop, and things literally changed the next day.
Isaac caused a slight bump in prices, but a more threatening issue is the upheaval in the Middle East, which may ultimately threaten the nations supply of crude oil, Sinclair said.
Were seeing some of the effects of the global market, he added. The continuing tensions with Iran may ultimately take away as much as 20 percent of the worlds crude oil.
Locally, the cheapest regular gas can be found in Rye at the Getty at 1 Boston Post Road for $4.17 a gallon and in Port Chester at the Gulf station at 602 N. Main St. or the Getty at 200 Westchester Ave. for $4.15 a gallon.
However, most stations sit well above $4 a gallon, and at the Sunoco on 314 Boston Post Road, premium gas reaches $4.77 a gallon. Most stations are more than $4 a gallon, and at the Shell on 1141 Boston Post Road in Rye, premium gas is $4.85 a gallon.
At the Shell gas station on Boston Post Road in Port Chester where gas is priced at $4.25 a gallon, Holli Oberacker said she seeks out the cheapest gas. "I do go out of my way. The highest price I've seen so far was $4.40," she said, adding that she goes to Shell because she gets lower prices for getting groceries at Stop & Shop. "I'm from upstate New York, and I'm used to lower prices, about 20 cents cheaper."
Stations will switch from the more expensive summer blend of gasoline to a cheaper winter blend next week, but Sinclair said motorists shouldnt expect a sudden drop in prices.
When they switch over next week, perhaps things will get better, but there are so many more factors than just that, he said. Theres so much going on, but in the short term, prices are more likely to continue to rise.
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