CHAPPAQUA, 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, Chappaqua 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 to $4.11, the third-highest in the continental United States behind Connecticut ($4.14) and California ($4.12). The national average was at $3.86 as of Sept. 13, more than 20 cents higher than a year ago.
AAA Spokesperson Robert Sinclair Jr. said that immediate relief should not be expected, and that 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.”
As of Sept. 14, prices for regular unleaded gasoline in the New Castle area varied greatly, with some stations also charging extra for those who pay by credit or debit card:
- Shell on Route 100: $4.09
- Mobil on Route 100: $4.29
- Shell on South Greeley Avenue: $4.49
- Mobil on South Bedford Road: $4.95
Stations will soon switch from the more expensive summer blend of gasoline to a cheaper winter blend, 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.”