With refineries nationwide beginning their transition from the less expensive winter blend of gasoline to the more expensive, more eco-friendly spring blend, prices at the pump continue to march on in March.
Nationally, gas prices have jumped nearly 20 cents per gallon since the beginning of the year, marking the largest jump during the January and February timeframe since 2015, according to AAA. Prices rose steadily in February as a number of refineries underwent planned and unplanned maintenance.
The current national average of $2.42 per gallon is three cents more expensive than a week ago, 17 cents more expensive than a month ago, but 10 cents cheaper than a year ago.
“Pump prices have been pushed higher this week due to reduced gasoline stock levels and increased demand,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said. “Motorists can expect gas prices to continue to increase as refineries gear up for spring gasoline production and maintenance season.”
In New York, motorists are paying an average of $2.55 per gallon. In the Hudson Valley, Westchester residents have the most expensive gas at $2.80 per gallon, followed by Putnam ($2.73); Rockland ($2.72); Dutchess ($2.55) and Orange County ($2.48).
Connecticut motorists are paying an average of $2.52 per gallon, though Fairfield County remains the most expensive in the state at $2.60 per gallon.
“Motorists are seeing more expensive gas prices as a result of ongoing refinery problems coupled with crude oil prices hitting their highest level so far this year as global crude inventories tighten,” Casselano added. “Inventories are likely to continue to tighten and keep gas prices higher through the end of the month.”
AAA Northeast spokesperson Fran Mayko added, “prices were higher this week because of greater demand and lower inventories nationwide. As refineries continue to gear up for spring production and maintenance, we’re going to see higher prices at the pump.”
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