Gas prices on the rise as COVID-19 travel restrictions relax

After a year of lower than normal gas prices, drivers should expect to see a continued price hike in the coming weeks.

News 12 Staff

Mar 12, 2021, 1:02 PM

Updated 1,167 days ago

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After a year of lower than normal gas prices, drivers should expect to see a continued price hike in the coming weeks.
Experts say the current average cost per gallon across Connecticut has risen to $2.83.
Fran Mayko, of AAA Northeast, says it's a classic case of supply and demand. Many refineries closed down due to the ice storms in Texas a few weeks ago, which limited production.
"We think that March will most likely will bring the highest and most expensive prices at the pump for 2021 at this point," Mayko says. "A lot of the refineries have been offline over the last few weeks because of the weather down in the gulf coast."
Mayko says this combined with states relaxing travel restrictions is to blame for the jump in the prices.
"There is pent up demand to go somewhere," she says. "People have been sheltering in place for over a year now, so even in the travel sector, people have this urge to go somewhere."
Michael J. Fox, the executive director of the Gasoline and Auto Service Dealers Association, says he believes the increase in crude oil is a driving factor for the price at the pump.
"Certainly we've seen President Biden— first thing he did was stop the pipeline that was going to directly supply crude oil from Canada down to refineries in Oklahoma and Texas," he says.
Fox says the increased prices of crude oil affects more than just a hike in gas prices.
"Everything you buy is controlled by the cost of gasoline crude oil, heating oil, and when those go up, all your other prices are going to go up as well," he says.
Fox also says the profit margins for the gas stations are under 2%.
"The biggest problem is tax payers and us as an industry, we just do not trust that the tax revenue that's being collected will be spent on its intended purpose," he says.
Mayko says she really doesn't see the prices tapering off too much until after the summertime.


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