MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. - As temperatures continue to rise, so do gas prices in and around Mount Pleasant and Pleasantville, with prices at the pump jumping nearly 20 cents nationally in the last week.
New York gas prices are among the highest in the nation, with motorists paying an average of $3.90 per regular gallon, compared to the national average of $3.70. The only states in the continental United States paying more are California ($4.04) and Connecticut ($4.00).
Since July 11, the average price of gas has risen 18 cents nationally and is up nine cents from a month ago. Prices are up 28 cents nationally from where they sat a year ago.
Robert Sinclair, the media relations manager for AAA New York, said a conflict overseas is one of the key factors in the sudden and unexpected spike in gas prices.
“First and foremost, it’s the Egyptian situation that had led to the price of crude oil ramping up, really without justification,” he said. “This is just further evidence of a ‘fear tax,’ the worry that the Egypt problem could spread and oil production in the Middle East might be interrupted.”
The price of crude oil has risen above $100 per barrel for the first time since March 2012, Sinclair said. In 2000, that price stood at just $28 per barrel, which has been a factor in the ever-rising cost of fuel.
“It’s a volatile market. Unforeseen events, in addition to the price of crude oil spiking, makes things even more volatile,” he said. “We’re seeing swings as wide as 50 or 60 cents per gallon in a given year, these are things that didn't happen before.”
According to NewYorkGasPrices.com , the cheapest gas around Pleasantville and Mount Pleasant is $4.19 a gallon at the 76 station, 1 Broadway in Pleasantville.
There may be no relief in sight for drivers, as there still are several months until refineries switch from the eco-friendly summer blend of fuel to the cheaper winter blend in September or October.
Tim James, a White Plains resident filling up for $3.99 per gallon at the Shell station on Post Road in Scarsdale, said he wouldn't curb the use of his car locally, but would think twice before going on a long road trip.
“At this point, I think we’re all used to prices going up, down and usually back up,” he said. “They've got us by the [throat]. Everybody needs to drive, so we have to pay whatever prices they charge us.”