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Long Island Drivers Met With Higher Gas Prices As Oil Companies Prepare For Spring

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — First it was higher home heating oil prices. Now, prices at the gas pump are inching up.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, gas prices on Long Island are the highest that they have been in months.

“Every cent counts in this economy. Food prices are going up too so everything makes a difference,” Valeria Labarbara said.

On Monday, Labarbara paid more to fill up her Volkswagen than she did last week.

The average price on Long Island is $3.64 a gallon, up four cents from last week. In the city the price is $3.70 a gallon, the highest it has been since October.

Pain at the pump comes every February when refineries switch over to summer blends. This year crude oil prices are also up and gas station owners said that their prices have gone up 12 cents in just two weeks.

“They’ll do maintenance and they’ll shut down to convert to reformulated gasoline and reformulated gasoline is required in New York,” President, L.I. Gasoline Retailers Association, Kevin Beyer explained.

AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair said that New York drivers are also getting hit with higher distribution costs which are 40 cents more per gallon than the national average. New York gas taxes are also among the highest in the nation.

“New York is only one of eight states in the country that charges a sales tax on gasoline. There is also a petroleum business tax and eighty-five to ninety percent of the money goes to the MTA,” Sinclair said.

A lot of factors will determine gas prices in the coming weeks. For the lowest prices the switch from winter to summer gasoline has to go off without a hitch. If it keeps snowing the demand for gas will likely remain down.

Gas prices are still lower than last year’s four dollars a gallon.

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