HARRISON, 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, Harrison drivers may not see price relief at the pumps for some time.
With Hurricane Isaac knocking out power to countless refineries in the Gulf Coast, and an unsettled situation overseas, gas prices in the state have risen an average of 13 cents in the past week, to $4.13, 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.
AAA Spokesperson Robert Sinclair Jr. said immediate relief should not be expected, and 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.”
Sinclair said Isaac caused a slight bump in prices, but a more threatening issue is the upheaval in the Middle East, which may ultimately threaten the nation’s supply of crude oil.
“We’re 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 world’s crude oil.”
According to NewYorkGasPrices.com, the cheapest gas in Scarsdale can be found at Citgo on Halstead Avenue for $4.29 a gallon. The cheapest gas at the beginning of August was $3.99 a gallon at the Gulf station also on Halstead Avenue. During Labor Day Weekend, the cheapest gas was selling for $4.19 at Citgo.
Rye resident Maria Licursi had just filled up her Lincoln Navigator before arriving at the Harrison Public Library.
“I just filled up my SUV and it cost me a hundred dollars – I am not too happy,” she said. “I drive locally and I have to fill it up almost every week for hardly any mileage. It’s crazy.”
The mother of three drives her children around locally, which means having to fill up often.
“I would like to see a change,” she said. “If I could walk a little more, I would. You don’t realize that it’s over $400 a month – people’s car payments are replaced by gas prices.”
Stations will switch from the more expensive summer blend of gasoline to a cheaper winter blend next week, but Sinclair said that motorists shouldn’t 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. “There’s so much going on, but in the short term, prices are more likely to continue to rise.”