‘No one wants to spend that much on gasoline’: Rochester average climbs to $3.75 a gallon

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — If you’ve been to a gas station lately, you’ve already noticed just how much more it cost now to fill up your tank.

The threat of U.S. sanctions placed on Russia, one of the world’s largest oil-producing countries has a direct effect on gas prices right here in America.

News10NBC found out what’s being done to help people save some money at the pump. We talked to Rep. Joe Morelle (D, NY-25) and AAA. Morelle said he’s concerned for all families that are struggling daily with increased pricing on all products.

"We were over $4 a gallon during the recession in 2008," said Elizabeth Carey, Director of Public Relations for AAA. "So July 2008 we were paying almost $4.25 a gallon. No one wants to see that come back."

The pinch at the gas pump can be felt every time someone pulls up.

"Definitely find myself staying on campus a little bit more just so I don’t have to waste more gas on the way home, and back," said Noah Malta.

Frank McGinty added, "It’s going to hurt us in food prices, and everything else that will coast through the whole economy no doubt."

Carey said in the past week alone, prices here in the Rochester area increased by 5 cents.

"We’ve really reached the point in Rochester where it’s $3.75 a gallon on average, and consumers are starting to feel the pain at the pump, and no one wants to spend that much on gasoline," Carey said.

Wade Okawascannell just put $16.57 worth of gas in his hybrid, and got less than half a tank.

"Normally I can almost fill up completely for that amount of money," Okawascannell said.

U.S. sanctions threatening Russia has that country responding by withholding oil from the global market.

"Oil prices are now over $90 a barrel, and if you think about it at one point during the pandemic they were zero, or even in negative territory," Carey said.

Morelle is proposing legislation to eliminate the 18 cents a gallon US gas tax.

"Make sure that American citizens have the ability to afford the increase in energy prices particularly as this situation in Russia, and Ukraine countries continues to exacerbate. So in my mind, this is a way to get through it," Morelle said.

Despite this, AAA says there’s some good news. People have hit the roads for this week’s February break.

"Those who couldn’t get those airline tickets, or couldn’t afford airline tickets, they’re taking road trips, and even though gas prices are this high, we’re seeing people saying you know what I’ll load up the family up in the van, and go down to Florida, someplace warm, and we’ll pay those gas prices. It’s still cheaper than buying airline tickets for a large family," Carey said.

She finished by telling us the best way to look for the lowest gas prices in your area, is to download the AAA Mobile App.