RIVERTOWNS, N.Y. – Rivertowns drivers may be looking for bargains on gas as prices climbed in the Lower Westchester this month.
A diminished fuel supply and the switch to a more expensive, “summer blend” of gasoline means that Rivertowns residents will not enjoy much relief at the pump as prices continue to soar.
On Monday, motorists in the New York City area were paying an average of $3.98 per gallon for regular, the second highest in the continental United States behind California’s $3.99, according to AAA. Average prices in the state have risen 16 cents in the last two weeks.
The Getty and Mobil gas stations located across from each other at North Broadway and Ashford Avenue in Dobbs Ferry were selling regular gas for $3.99 this week. Sunoco at the New York State off ramp in Ardsley posted regular gas at $4.04.
Robert Sinclair, the spokesperson for AAA New York, said the Port Reading Refinery in Woodbridge, N.J., is set to shut down at the end of the month. The refinery ships 70,000 barrels of oil each day, approximately 7.5 percent of what is consumed in the Northeast.
“When you take that amount of product off the market, what’s left becomes that much more valuable,” he said. “We can expect prices to go up when that happens. Things are going to get very hairy during the summer driving season.”
Beth Propper said on The Rivertowns Daily Voice Facebook page that she gets a gas discount from local grocery shopping.
"Go to Stop & Shop as often as possible for grocery shopping and then use your card to get discounts at Shell," Propper said. "I've ranged between 10 and 50 cents off a gallon."
Heather Serino-Valentin said she travels to nearby Citgo in Scarsdale for better gas prices if she has the time.
“With the refinery going down, it’ll be up to the other guys to make up the difference, or we’ll have that much less volume,” Sinclair said. “What’s left will become more expensive. It’s a pretty big hit, taking that amount of a commodity off the market.”
In mid-March, gas stations will switch to a “summer blend” of gasoline, which is more eco-friendly for the busier driving season. Between the switch in blends and the extended cold spell the East Coast is experiencing, Sinclair said that prices will likely only continue to rise.