NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – As the calendar turns to August, New Rochelle residents are feeling added pressure at the pump after gas prices nationwide rose 17 cents a gallon in July.
New York gas prices are among the highest in the nation, with drivers paying an average of $3.70 per gallon, compared with the national average of $3.53 for regular unleaded gas.
The price increase came after three months of dwindling prices at the pumps. The 5 percent increase is the most substantial for July since AAA began keeping records in 2000, and the national average price was the third-highest for July since 2000.
“We’ve seen prices going up over the past few weeks because we’re seeing the price of oil rise, which is driving the price of gas up,” said Eric Stigberg, a public affairs manager for AAA.
“Anytime you have economic recovery, it tends to drive the price of commodities up.” In the continental United States, New York drivers pay more for fuel than all but four states, which pay an average of $3.82 per gallon.
Locally, New Rochelle residents can find the best bargain at Gulf Express on North Avenue and Fifth Avenue, where regular fuel is selling for $3.85. During the summer, gas stations must use a summer fuel that burns more cleanly than winter fuel – also contributing to higher prices, Stigberg said.
“Typically, once we get out of the summer driving season, when there’s a higher demand, refineries can switch out of the summer gas which is more expensive to produce,” he said. “That forces price down as well, so we might see prices start teetering downward.”
New Rochelle resident Janet Green is happy gas prices aren’t higher than they already are.
“I’m glad its under $4. $3.50 would be nice. (It's) not too much," said Green. “With economics and the way things are going, gas prices should go according to what our economy is."