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Gas Prices Reach Five-Year March Peak

Gas prices have continued to rise.
Gas prices have continued to rise. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Both New York and Connecticut have entered the “drivers’ dozen” and are among the 12 states with the highest gas prices in the country.

Nationally, as of Tuesday, March 26, the average price at the pump has hit $2.65 per gallon, up nine cents from a week ago and 25 cents from a month ago. The price is three cents more than a year ago, according to AAA.

“Thanks to increasing demand and tightening gasoline stocks across the country, March gas prices came in like a lion and will not go out like a lamb,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said. “State gas price averages are very similar to a year ago give or take a few pennies, which means some motorists are paying among the most expensive averages seen this time of year in the last five years.”

New Yorkers are paying an average of $2.71 per gallon, up four cents from a week ago and 18 cents up from a month ago. Westchester motorists are paying the second-highest average per gallon in the state ($2.89), followed by Rockland ($2.83); Putnam ($2.80); Dutchess ($2.72) and Orange ($2.67).

In Connecticut, motorists are paying an average of $2.70 per gallon, up seven cents from a week ago and 20 cents from a month ago, led by Fairfield County at $2.77 per gallon.

There are several reasons for price increases at the pump, AAA Northeast spokeswoman Frank Mayko added. “As global demand increases, inventory is tightening. This is prompting crude oil prices to rise.”

Mayko noted that the rise in prices was expected, as refineries begin transitioning from their winter to summer blend of gasoline.

“In the US, we’re also converting to the more expensive, environmentally friendly summer blends, while on the global front OPEC plans to cut production through late June to balance the market in their favor. All these factors are causing pump prices to rise across the country.”

“Give or take a few cents, however, gas prices generally are similar to a year ago,” Mayko added. “Motorists in 27 states are paying among the most expensive averages seen this time of the year in the last five years. For the time being, Connecticut seems to be the exception.”

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