Gasoline approaching $2 a gallon as crude prices continue to fall

Jan 18, 2016

Buffalo-area gas prices continue to fall, aided by the lowest cost for crude oil in 12 years. The average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $2.13 per gallon on Sunday.

The trend is reflected at gas stations across the country, with declining crude oil prices leading to a supply that outweighs demand. Senior Petroleum Analyst Gregg Laskoski says gas prices will likely go lower because suppliers are trying to get rid of excess stock and attract customers.

Credit File photo

“We see the lowest reported price of gas is found in Irving. We see $1.53 as the lowest reported price, and many other stations are at about $1.55," Laskoski said.

That Irving station is on Native American land, where gas prices can typically be found at a lower cost.

Laskoski says while prices are low now in the winter, they may return to higher levels in the summer. That’s due to the EPA-mandated transition from winter blend gas to summer blend gas.

“For years, we’ve seen the rise in the range of 40-70 cents per gallon. I don’t know if we’ll see 70 cents, but we certainly would not be surprised to see the increase this year within that range,” Laskoski told WBFO.

Higher price levels also depend on the size of refineries and how early they start making summer blend gas. Prices Sunday were 49.8 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and 10.3 cents lower than one month ago. The national average is down 6.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $1.90.

Laskoski says gas prices are still higher in the Northeast than regions like the South and Midwest because the Northeast has some of the highest combined state and federal gas taxes in the country.

“In New York, you’re paying 62.6 cents per gallon that’s purely for taxes. So if you were to take out that 62 cents per gallon from the $2.16 state average, you’d be paying $1.54,” he added.

The highest gas taxes in the country are in Pennsylvania. The lowest reported prices were in Houghton Lake, Michigan, where gas is selling for as little as 47 cents per gallon.