LATHAM, N.Y. – An increased demand overseas for refined products like gasoline and oil has caused gas prices to increase in the U.S., but the main factor for the rise in cost is the annual change out of gasoline blends.
The national average has risen each week for nearly three months, and gas prices across the state have risen almost six cents a gallon in the past week.
But instead of feeling shocked, Latham resident Luanne Nicholson said she feels déjà vu.
“It seems like it’s so predictable,” she said. “It goes up as soon as the weather starts to get nicer, and I really don’t know why that happens.”
Maria D’Amelia from Stewart’s Shops said the increase in price has to do with the transition period. Gas stations nationwide phase out “winter gasoline” for a “summer blend.”
“It’s something that’s required by the government this time of year,” she explained. “It is a cleaner burning fuel during the summer months that eases pollution, but it’s also more expensive.”
The summer blend is not only more expensive but also more efficient. But most consumers say it’s ridiculous.
“We don’t live in an area where we can take buses,” Latham resident Christina Coon said. “We have four kids that go to the doctors and dentist and school activities and then work.”
Nicholson said the increase seemed inevitable, and she may trade her car for a bike as a result.
“We actually do try to ride a little more,” she said. “My husband will ride his bike in the summer when he can, so we think about it a little more when the prices do go up.”
The transition between gasoline blends should be completed by May 1, and gas prices should not exceed $4 per gallon.