Gas prices rise as winter storm hits southern US, travel demand climbs

Drivers are starting to feel some sticker shock when they top off their tanks as gas prices surge.

As gas prices hit their highest point during the pandemic, experts say things are only going to get worse.

“With all the hardship going on with the pandemic, this adds insult to injury about the gas prices,” says Joe Goren, of Plainview.

The average price per gallon on Long Island is $2.60, which has increased 4 cents in a week and 6 cents higher than this date last year.

Experts attribute the gas price increase to a few factors — including a rare round of winter weather hammering Texas, which has limited oil operations.

“Many refineries have shut down, pipelines have shut down, some ports on the Gulf Coast have shut down because of the cold weather,” says AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair. “That leads to a further declines in supplies and increases in prices.”

Experts say another reason is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries isn’t producing as much oil due to low travel last year. During the height of the pandemic in April 2020, travel came to a standstill.

But with the vaccine rollout in recent weeks, more people are traveling, increasing demand and driving gasoline prices higher.

Expert say gas prices are expected to jump another 10-15 cents a gallon in the next few weeks, and could get even higher when summer comes around.

AAA says you can save money on gasoline by with these tips:

– Keep tires properly inflated because underinflated tires require more energy and gas to move the vehicle.

– Remove heavy items from the trunk. That extra weight creates more work for the engine which burns more gasoline.

– Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip.

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