Consumer Alert: Nationally gas fell 64 cents in a month—So why only 33 cents in Rochester?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — While the price at the pump is going down, filling up is still painful. Today, the average price is $4.60 in Rochester—that’s down 33 cents from a month ago. But that doesn’t compare to the rate at which prices are dropping nationally. The average price of a gallon of unleaded gas national fell 64 cents in one month. But here in Rochester, it fell at about half that rate.

That’s the trend I’ve been tracking every week. When New York’s gas tax holiday went into effect on June 1, the price in Rochester fell to just below the national average. But when prices began to drop in late June, every week the price fell nationally at about twice the rate we saw here in New York. On Tuesday, the average price in Rochester is $4.60, 42 cents higher than the national average.

So here’s the question so many of you have been asking me: Why are prices falling far more slowly here in New York? I took that question to the chief petroleum expert at Gasbuddy, Patrick De Haan.

"Because of a lack of refining capacity, much of the northeast depends on oil that’s imported from elsewhere, and if those imports don’t continue at the same elevated pace, that can cause inventories to decline very quickly,” said De Haan.

He says that’s what’s happening right now, and all across the northeast, gas prices are falling more slowly. So of course, I did the research for all seven northeastern states. Prices fell in each as follows:

Gas price decline from July to August nationally vs. the northeast
Nationally: gas prices fell 64 cents.
New Hampshire: gas prices fell 48 cents.
New Jersey: gas prices fell 45 cents.
Pennsylvania: gas prices fell 44 cents
Connecticut: gas prices fell 45 cents.
Massachusetts: gas prices 41 cents
Maine: Gas prices fell 40 cents.
New York: gas prices fell 40 cents.

De Haan is right. He says states in the northeast are not seeing the relief that the rest of the country is seeing because the price of wholesale gas is 62 cents higher in the northeast than it is nationally.

But I still want to know if New Yorkers are getting the full gas tax savings. That’s because even with the gas tax holiday in effect, gas in New York is among the highest in the northeast. It’s higher only in Maine. So I’ll keep digging.