Why we’re seeing rising prices at the pump

Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:26 PM EST
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TOWN OF WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - You are paying more for gas right now. It’s all because last week’s major storm in and around Texas caused oil refineries to hit the brakes.

“I like gas prices that are less expensive. Don’t we all,” said Charlie Sidwa.

He fills his gas tank in the town of Watertown to make it home to Chaumont, but this trip to the pump cost him a little more than it did a few weeks ago.

AAA says the average gas price nationwide has increased by 13 cents in a week.

In New York state, the average gas price is $2.70. That up a dime since last week.

The reason: snow and ice in states like Texas.

“So what happened is across several states refineries had to shut down, so that limited the supply of gasoline and therefore lower supply, higher prices,” said April Engram, AAA communications specialist.

She says oil refineries in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kansas have halted operations due to weather. Those refineries account for 40 percent of U.S. crude production.

“I used to be able to fill my gas tank for a little over $30 and now it’s over $40 to fill my gas tank,” said Sharayah Pitkin, who was filling up her gas tank.

If Mother Nature cooperates, AAA believes some refineries could open back up soon.

“Hopefully next week, if we don’t have another cold front coming across the country, our gas prices will at the very least stabilize and not increase so drastically as we’ve seen the last week and a half,” said Engram.

“I’m not happy about it, but what are you going to do,” said Sidwa.

For now, Sidwa will go with the flow back to Chaumont.

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