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Wayne Post
  • Gas high for now; relief's in sight

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  • Analysts say the average U.S. price of gasoline is up 8 cents a gallon over the past three weeks, though locally the bump is less, up just 1 cent from December.
    According to a survey released Sunday by industry analyst Trilby Lundberg, the nationwide average for a gallon of regular gas is now $3.35. Of the cities surveyed, the cheapest was $2.97 a gallon in Albuquerque, N.M., and the highest was $3.67 a gallon in New York's Long Island.
    In Rochester, the average is $3.65 — just 2 cents less than in Long Island, according to numbers reported by GasBuddy.com.
    “The New York state average is actually down three cents in the last week,” said GasBuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst Gregg Laskoski. “A week ago it was $3.68 and now it’s $3.65 — that’s a little bit better than the national average.”
    Laskoski, a former New York resident, said the state leads the nation right now in total gas taxes paid at the pump. Those higher costs were what prompted him to leave about 20 years ago, he said.
    Statewide, as in the greater Rochester area, the average is $3.65, up from $3.64 in December. Across the nation, the average price is lower at $3.30.
    In Canandaigua, prices range from $3.61 to $3.67, with the best prices reported to be at Valero, Hess, Kwik Fill and Sunoco.
    For the next week or two, gas prices should decrease slightly, in line with crude oil prices, which are moving down, Laskoski said. After that, averages should stay flat until February, he said.
    “We expect retail prices will climb pretty steadily February through March and April,” he said, adding that over the long term, consumers will likely spend less on gasoline in 2014 than they did in 2013.
    In 2011, the average price of gasoline nationwide was $3.51; in 2012 it was $3.60; in 2013 it was $3.49; and in 2014, Laskoski expects the price to be down another 10 cents to $3.39.
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