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Mount Vernon Gas Prices Soar Past National Average

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon residents are feeling added pressure at the pump after gasoline prices nationwide rose 17 cents a gallon in July.

New York gas prices are among the highest in the nation, with drivers paying an average of $3.70 per gallon, compared with the national average of $3.53 for regular unleaded gas.

The price increase comes after three months of dwindling prices at the pumps. 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.

“We’ve seen prices going up over the past few weeks because we’re 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.”

New York drivers pay more for fuel than drivers in all but four states — Hawaii, Alaska, Connecticut and California — who pay an average of $3.82 per gallon, 12 cents more than the New York average but only 3 cents more than what local drivers are paying. Mount Vernon residents can find the best price at Speed Gas at 167 S. 1st St. near Mount Vernon Avenue, where regular fuel is selling for $3.79.

Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis said that gas prices are affecting everyone in the city. Even those who do not have cars are paying for fuel for buses many of them ride.

“Gas is something people need and now have to buy more of it when they could be spending money on food and rent,” Davis said. “War has been created over oil, but I can’t tell you why the prices of gas fluctuate so much."

Stigberg said that, during summer, there is an increase in travel and demand for gasoline. Also, gas stations have to use a summer fuel that burns cleaner than winter fuel – also contributing to higher prices.

“Typically, once we get out of the summer driving season when there’s 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.”

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