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Gas Prices Soar As Holiday Weekend Begins

1:03 PM, Sep 2, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Gas prices have crept up yet again, just in time for the holiday weekend.

According to AAA, the average price for the Buffalo region is now $3.93 per gallon of regular gas. That's nearly a 30-cent jump in the last month. At the start of August, we were paying $3.65.

The run up to Labor Day usually brings us break from work and high gas prices, but not this year. Some stations in Buffalo about to hit the dreaded $4.00 mark.

"Through the roof!" said Marilyn Hubbard of Buffalo. "Seriously. I usually put in plus (gas), but today I put in regular."

A year ago, prices mostly plummeted during the summer. This year, it's been the exact opposite.

For an explanation, 2 On Your Side spoke to Gregg Laskoski, a Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com.

REPORTER: What do you think is causing the spike we've seen just over the last Month or so?

LASKOSKI: I think it's a convergence of a number of factors, plus the obviously the most significant one being Hurricane Isaac.

Those other factors, according to Laskoski, are the problems and fires at several oil refineries, causing inventory to drop nationwide.

Also puzzling some drivers is the price of gas in comparison to the price of oil. Gas prices tend to rise just as quickly as oil prices, but earlier this summer, when oil prices quickly fell, gas didn't.

REPORTER: Why is there such a discrepancy sometimes between where oil prices are and where gas prices are?

LASKOSKI: A number of analysts have pointed this out, and its an observation where consumers are correct. They go up like a rocket and come down like a feather. And usually, when they come down, there is a lag time where retailers may be seizing the opportunity to get a little bit more profit margin on the fuel that is already in the ground. The fuel that's already been paid for.

There may be some good news. Laskoski says in 10 of the last 11 years, price have dropped the Monday of Labor Day weekend.

Marilyn Hubbard sure hopes so.

HUBBARD: We're going to do a backyard cookout and everything is going to be done local.

REPORTER: Save some gas?

HUBBARD: Yes.

If prices do not fall Monday, Laskoski predicts they will fall within the next two weeks. Unfortunately, there may be one serious wild card this fall. If Israel and Iran go to war, as many fear, analysts predict it could send prices well above anything we've ever seen before.

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