Prices rise sharply in states within viewing pathway of eclipse

Regular unleaded gas prices saw a slight decrease over last week, on average, in the United States — with some notable exceptions.

States within the viewing pathway of the solar eclipse Monday saw sharp increases in prices, and gas stations were concerned about their supplies meeting the demand from an influx of visitors, according to the weekly report from AAA Western and Central New York. For example, Oregon's average price for unleaded gasoline has increased 5 cents over the past week.

In New York, which like the rest of the Northeast was out of that pathway, average prices saw a slight decrease from last week, down a penny to $2.47 per gallon. That's still significantly above last year's state average at this time, $2.30.

The national average price Monday was $2.33 per gallon, down 2 cents from last week and also significantly higher than last year's average at this time of $2.30.

In Canandaigua, gas could be found Monday at $2.35 per gallon at the Speedway on Lakeshore Drive and the Kwik Fill on Rochester Road (Route 332).

According to the Energy Information Administration's report for the week ending on Aug. 11, gasoline production moved higher. U.S. output is at the highest level seen in two years. Yet demand continues to grow.

With most of the country seeing declines in gasoline inventories, the mid-Atlantic and northeast region saw gasoline inventories increase, according to EIA's latest reports. With the continued record high output rates for refined products, refiners are able to cheaply produce large amounts of gasoline and store it. But as gas prices increase and demand stays strong, storage levels are likely to fall.

And with gasoline demand expected to continue to increase as Labor Day approaches in the U.S., crude inventories may drop further, leading to higher pump prices due to more crude being used to make gasoline.


Closer to home

AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

Buffalo — $2.43 (up 4 cents)
Rochester — $2.41 (down 1 cent)
Rome — $2.42 (no change)
Syracuse — $2.37 (down 2 cents)