MAMARONECK, N.Y. As the calendar turns to August, Mamaroneck residents are feeling added pressure at the pump, after gas prices nationwide rose an average of 17 cents a gallon in July.
Im moving into the place where I work this week, so I wont be driving around as much. But it would have really affected me because this piece of junk gets horrible mileage, said August Rocco of Larchmont, pointing to his Ford Explorer. He said the SUV gets about 12 miles per gallon.
Joanne Wellner of Mamaroneck, who was filling up a Buick, said gas prices wouldnt affect her very much, but she was unhappy about the continuing price hikes. She laughed when asked how much gas cost when she first started driving.
Oh, I dont know, about 25 cents a gallon, she said. It certainly wasnt much.
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. New Yorkers pay more for fuel than in all but four states, where drivers pay an average of $3.82 per gallon.
Locally, Mamaroneck residents can find the best bargain at American on White Plains Road near Crosshill Road, where regular fuel is selling for $3.78 and premium is available for $4.03
The latest increase comes after three months of dwindling prices at the pump. 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.
Weve seen prices going up over the past few weeks because were 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.
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 theres 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.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.