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Rising Gas Prices On Long Island Squeezing Residents’ Budgets

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Gas prices on Long Island (credit: CBS 2)

Gas prices on Long Island (credit: CBS 2)

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ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Gas prices are on the rise, with the national average 38 cents higher than it was at this time last year, but Long Island has some of the highest in the country.

Gas at one Long Island Mobil station is $4.59, and that station is not alone. More than a dozen are well above $4 and others are inching up.

“When you live on Long Island and you have to get around by car, it really impacts your budget,” one resident told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

As drivers speed through their budgets, they have little patience for explanations, especially in a mild winter that should have kept oil prices down. They’re told it’s tensions in Iran, riots in Nigeria and a glut of Canadian oil to our west, but for out-of-work school teacher John Decrescenzo of Brentwood, it means filling up the tank is now a luxury.

“You want to go to movies, you want to go to dinner, you can’t do any of it because you’re worried about, you know, you have to fill up your tank to get to work and back,” he said, noting that gas costs his family $100 a week.

“The money that is going out compared to the money that is going in is just a matter of how long you can keep holding on?” he said.

And folks who drive for a living are burning through gas money.

“I do deliveries and spend more in deliveries than I do in tips,” delivery driver Matthew Burns said.

Long Island gas was almost 50 cents above the national average Friday. The lowest gas price on the Island is $3.67, and at only two stations.

“I’m not fixing the price,” one gas station owner said.

Asked if people really buy gas for $4.59, he said “yes, but very few.”

The Automobile Club said at this rate, $4 a gallon gasoline is a foregone conclusion, and by Memorial Day, those $4.50 prices could be seen at a gas station near you.

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