Why is Gas So High?

BUFFALO, NY - There are a half dozen states in the U-S where drivers pay more than4-dollars a gallon for regular. If you live in Buffalo, NY, you are paying on average $4.09 a gallon for regular gasoline. Hawaii has the absolute highest average for a gallon of gas. South Carolina, has the lowest gas price on average, $3.50.

Around Western New York, prices range from $4.01 to $4.17. The national average is $3.78.

Fred Rozell, Director or Retail Pricing for OPIS, blames part of the high prices at the pump on "very high petroleum taxes" in New York State. "The one thing with WNY, the product does ship a little bit further up the pipeline so it's a little more expensive to get the product into WNY, versus more eastern parts of New York. It doesn't add that much of a cost, but it is an additional cost," he said.

Meanwhile, you can drive to Cleveland and pay about 40-cents less for a gallon of gas. According to Rozell, Cleveland gets their product from Chicago which has cheaper spot prices at this time. Buffalo gets it from New York Harbor, which is more expensive.

Record-low inventories due to production problems at several U.S. Refineries are too blame for the high prices. "There was a huge explosian in Veneuzeula at the end of August and refinery problems in Europe over the past few months. All of those are coming to a head right now and it's causing gas to increase," said Steve Pacer at the AAA of WNY.

So will prices drop soon? OPIS says yes, and New Yorkers can expect to see a 10-20-cent drop. Pacer says it will get worse before it gets better at the end of the month. "We're expecting to see a temporary increase in prices over the next couple of weeks with these issues and the supply being so low, but we're hopeful that it's only a couple of weeks."


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