(WSYR-TV) — Viewer Catherine Upwood emailed the Your Stories Team wondering why local gas prices are much higher than the national average for a gallon of gas.

According to AAA, the average for a gallon of gas in N.Y. is $4.50, nearly $.35 more than the national average.

GasBuddy’s lead petroleum analyst, Patrick De Haan, said a few factors are causing higher prices in N.Y. when compared to other parts of the country. He said a major reason is due to a lack of refining capacity in the northeast. He said supply in this region is extremely tight and it relies heavily on imported gasoline.

“More than ever before you are more reliant on gasoline being produced elsewhere and that gasoline could be siphoned off and go somewhere else, especially with all the regularities with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There’s simply a lack of refining capacity and not having refining capacity is keeping prices higher in the northeast, ” De Haan said.

De Haan said the national average is lower because of southern states. Many southern states are in the $3.70 a gallon range.

“Areas to the south have low taxes, they have a cheaper version of summer gasoline, they are also well connected to areas of the gulf coast where many of the nation’s largest refineries exist. So, there’s a difference in taxes, difference in location, difference in infrastructure, and even a difference in the type of gasoline,” De Haan said.

According to De Haan, many parts of the northeast require drivers to fill up with reformulated gasoline, which is more costly.

“That’s the most stringent type of summer gasoline we see which is required in many major cities to keep the air cleaner during the warmest months,” De Haan said. 

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