WHITE PLAINS, 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, White Plains drivers may not see price relief at the pumps for some time.
With Hurricane Isaac knocking out power to countless refineries along 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 behind Connecticut ($4.16) and California ($4.15). 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 White Plains is $4.05 and can be found at Gulf on 274 Hamilton Ave. on the corner of Cottage Place, where Cynthia Morales filled up over the weekend. The White Plains resident said she is lucky to live around the corner from the cheapest gas station in the city, and will drive out of her way to fill up for less.
"I don't see my parents because it eats up my gas," said Morales, whose parents live in Mount Vernon. "It's only about 20 minutes away, but it's still a lot."
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.”