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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Gas prices reach record high in GLOW region
Truck Driver Cody Johnson
Truck driver Cody Johnson said he drives about 2,800 miles a week for Leonard Express. On Thursday afternoon he was filling up his tractor-trailer at the Flying J Travel Center in Pembroke before a planned drive to Texas.

The price of the diesel fuel he was putting in the tank was $5.45 a gallon, which like the cost of regular gas was at an all-time high.

“Fuel prices are going to go up, but you can’t not get fuel. You’ve got to have it,” he said. “It doesn’t really affect me, but it affects a lot of other people — owner/operators, they’ve got to buy their own fuel.”

GasBuddy.com reported an all-time high national average for gas on Tuesday at $4.25 per gallon. AAA recorded the national average cost for regular fuel at $4.173 – up about 50 cents from a week ago – and the highest price seen in more than a decade.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said this marks the first time the United States has seen gas prices rise at this pace and get so high.

“That combination makes this situation all the more remarkable and intense, with crippling sanctions on Russia curbing their flow of oil, leading to the massive spike in the price of all fuels: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and more,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a news release. “It’s a dire situation and won’t improve any time soon. The high prices are likely to stick around for not days or weeks, like they did in 2008, but months.”

State Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, R-Elma, on Tuesday announced that he is co-sponsoring legislation to temporarily suspend New York’s gasoline tax as a way to provide relief to residents and businesses. Gallivan said the state currently has a budget surplus, which could be used to cover the revenue generated by the gas tax.

“New Yorkers have been struggling under the weight of inflation for months and are now facing some of the highest gas prices ever,” he said in a news release. “Residents and small businesses need a break. The state should use some of its budget surplus to provide relief to drivers in the form of a fuel tax holiday.”

The gas tax in New York State is about 45 cents per gallon, according to the Tax Foundation.

The proposed legislation would establish a fuel tax holiday in New York through Sept. 1. It would also allow local governments to eliminate their taxes on gasoline. The bill also ensures future gas tax collections be deposited into the New York State Dedicated Highway & Bridge Trust Fund.

AAA reported Tuesday morning that the statewide average was $4.36 per gallon for regular and $4.99 for diesel. In Batavia, AAA said, the average price was $4.29 for regular, up 6 cents from Monday); and $4.99 for diesel.

A drive from Geneseo to Batavia on Thursday had prices ranging from $4.39 to $4.49 for a gallon regular gas.

AAA said Tuesday morning other regular gas prices around the state were:
■ Buffalo, $4.30, up 9 cents from Monday.
■ Rochester, $4.33, up 9 cents.
■ Rome, $4.35, up 13 cents.
■ Syracuse, $4.34, up 10 cents.
■ Watertown, $4.35, up 10 cents.

And as bad as prices may be in New York, truck drivers interviewed Thursday said it could be worse.

Johnson, the Leonard Express driver, said his company has told drivers to limit fuel use in California.

“They don’t really want us to get fuel in California. California’s the worst one. It’s been like that for awhile,” he said.

John, a truck driver for Northumberland Services, LLC, who did not give his last name, had started driving Tuesday morning in Williamson and was stopping for the day when he went to the Flying J to fill the truck he was driving. He said those who think fuel prices are bad in New York should come to Pennsylvania. It’s $6 a gallon there, he said.

The driver, who said he spends about 60 hours a week on the job, didn’t know how much he drives the truck in a week.

“It ain’t my truck. I don’t care about miles,” he said. “I’m an employee. They (Northumberland) need me, I’m there.”

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