Bump in gas prices explained: Your Stories

Local News

Prepare for some sticker shock the next time you head to the pump. Gas prices are up all across Central New York and NewsChannel 9 viewers are wondering, “What’s the deal?”

At most service stations, the price jumped 25 to 30 cents in just a few days. On Wednesday most unleaded gas was selling for around $2.45 a gallon, compared to $2.16 over the weekend.

“The biggest reason is that refineries shutdown and they switch twice a year, from a summer blend to a winter blend…that’s what we’re seeing right now,” said Syracuse University Whitman School of Management Assistant Professor, Patrick Penfield.

Penfield specializes in Supply Chain Management and said the plus side to the summer blend is it’s a purer form of gas which means increased efficiency, but that comes at a cost.

Travel agencies like the AAA said other reasons for the gas price increase include increased travel during February break, higher crude oil prices and higher demand as Spring approaches. 

While those are factors, Penfield said they play a lesser role. On the world stage, he added, tariff talks with China and unrest in Venezuela have caused larger fluctuations.

As for the rest of the year, Penfield suspects 2019 will be a fairly affordable year to travel, thanks to plenty of supply.

“I don’t really see a lot of things changing from a price standpoint,” said Penfield, “And it’s actually going to be a good year for fuel, so if you’re going to travel via your car I think you’re going to be in good shape.”

Penfield projects gas prices won’t go above $3 a gallon.

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