EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – As the calendar turns to August, Eastchester 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 to the national average of $3.53 for regular unleaded gas.
The price increase comes 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, Eastchester residents can find the best bargain at Americanon White Plains Road near Crosshill Road, where regular fuel is selling for $3.78 and premium is available for $4.03
Stigberg said that during the summer, because of an increase in travelers, gas stations have to use a summer fuel that burns more cleanly than winter fuel – also contributing to higher prices.
“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.”
Until prices fall, residents are doing whatever they can to pinch pennies at the pump. Dion Federici, a Tuckahoe resident filling up for $3.89 a gallon at the Mobil station near the Eastchester-Scarsdale border, said that he uses his motorcycle when he can, and if he’s in his car he will go driving in search of better prices.
“It’s too high! Even with my bike it’s going to take almost $20 for less than four gallons,” he said. “I do keep an eye out for the best deals, and when I’m in my car I definitely try to find the cheapest gas.”