There is no relief in sight for area motorists at the pump, as the national gas price average has hit its highest point since the summer of 2015, with prices now topping $3 an hour in much of the area.
As of this week, national gas prices reached an average of $2.71 per gallon, four cents lower than the high of $2.67 from last year, and prices are only expected to keep rising, according to the latest report from AAA. The price is up 6 cents from a week ago, 18 cents from a month ago and 31 cents from a year ago.
By the end of the summer, prices are expected to reach the highest total since 2014. An AAA spokesperson cited “a volatile marker, higher crude oil prices, and higher consumer demand are driving average gas prices up nationally and motorists can expect to see prices increase in early April.”
“Motorists can expect to see prices increase in early April and continue through the start of summer when refinery maintenance will be wrapped-up, the weather becomes warmer and the switchover to the more expensive summer-blend gasoline kicks in.”
According to an AAA New York spokesman, the price has been affected by multiple factors, including the price of crude oil overseas and an increase in demand nationwide. It also comes at a time when refineries begin the process of transitioning from a winter blend of gasoline to a more eco-friendly, expensive, summer blend.
“Expensive crude oil prices, unrest in the Middle East, strong domestic demand, record production rates and global oil supply surplus have created the perfect storm to drive spring gas prices toward new heights,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson stated. “Consumers can expect gas prices to increase another 5 to 10 cents this season, but the national average is not expected to reach the $3 mark.”
The tri-state area remains one of the most expensive places to buy gas in the country, with an average of $2.82 in New York, $2.72 in New Jersey and $2.79 in Connecticut.
“AAA forecast that two-thirds of the 88 million families taking vacations this summer plan to drive to their destination. With more expensive gas prices on the horizon, travelers should plan now for the additional costs,” added Casselano.
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