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AAA: gas prices jump 25 cents in four days, topping $4 per gallon statewide

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Posted at 6:57 AM, Mar 04, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to AAA, average gas prices across New York State have topped $4 per gallon for the first time since 2014.

The gas price hike is showing little signs of slowing down.

The average price of gas in Western New York has jumped double digits overnight.

Gas in the Buffalo-Niagara area will cost a little more than $4/gallon.

The state of emergency created a huge political divide across Erie County, but now that COVID is finally easing its grip on the county, the state of emergency is no longer needed.

"We haven't seen gas prices this high since the recession in 2008," AAA Director of Public Relations, Elizabeth Carey said.

The state's current average is $4.05 per gallon — up 25 cents since Monday — and it's not much better in Western New York. The Buffalo-Niagara region's average price for a gallon of gas is $4.03 as of Friday morning. In Batavia, it's $3.97 per gallon.

The pain at the pump is also being felt on the West Coast. Prices in Los Angeles, California have surged to $5/gallon for the first time ever.

High oil prices are driving up prices at the gas pump; oil prices are $110 per barrel as of Friday morning — the highest they've been in over a decade, according to AAA.

Experts believe oil prices will continue to rise as more sanctions are placed on Russia due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A potential ban on crude oil imports from Russia in the United States or other countries would likely drive prices up even further because of disruptions in the already tight global oil supply.

The International Energy Agency has coordinated the release of 60 million barrels of oil from its member countries' strategic reserves, including the U.S.

"Russia threatened to withhold oil form the global market, then there was a reaction with the oil markets and prices for oil just shot up as that reaction goes," Carey said.
While it is difficult to tell how long the price hikes will last, there are a few things motorists do to cut corners or to get the best gas mileage.

  1. Make sure your tires are inflated at the right level.
  2. The lighter the vehicle, the less fuel you're using.
  3. Use cruise control while on highways.
  4. Some even try shopping at gas stations at Indian reservations.

"There's no state taxes on there. Like the Seneca Nation, there's that one downtown Casino and then there's Irving and then the Tuscarora Reservation. Even there, it's well over $3 a gallon but they haven't hit $4 yet," she explained.
Fuel stations pay for their bulk supply of gas and then determine their gas prices, based on supply and demand, in the local market.

"Demands have been increasing since the mask removal and things are opening up more, so more people want to go places. Now, these oil prices are up, so the gas prices are going up. It impacts people's ability to get around. At the same time, we are seeing people saying we want to take a vacation and it might be cheaper to put a family of four or five or six into the minivan and drive down to Florida, rather than to buy all those airline tickets."

The New York State Attorney General's Office issued a warning to consumers to be on the lookout for price gouging at local gas stations. You can find more information on reporting potential price gouging here.

New York's Attorney General's Office is now cracking down on gas companies that are charging too much for their fuel.

AG Letitia James announced she is implementing a new process to address evidence of companies raising prices, not because of increased costs, but to raise their own profits.

James' office is asking for your help in tracking down places that are illegally price gouging.

To report specific stations where there there is a dramatic price hike, click here.

Submissions must include the date, as well as sales receipts and pictures of the advertised prices.