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Trucker fumes over skyrocketing diesel prices

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 5:27 PM EDT
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TOWN OF PAMELIA, New York (WWNY) - It is the fuel that moves most freight and goods across the U.S. Diesel has been hitting new record prices. In New York, they’ve more than doubled over the past year. Who gets hit? Everybody, in the form of higher prices, and one group, especially - truckers.

Andy Thompson delivers boat trailers up the East Coast and into Canada from his base in Maryland. At the Circle K near Watertown, we found him fueling up and fuming at the cost.

“$350 for 90 gallons,” he said.

How far will that get him?

“Not very far. Maybe 300 miles,” he said.

Thompson works for himself with just one rig. Unlike bigger companies that have fuel surcharges built into their contracts, independents like him have a tougher time passing along their added costs.

“There’s a lot of people out here trying to make a living and that just kills it right there, just kills it. I’m at the age where I could retire and I’m seriously considering just stopping. I’m done,” he said.

An Oil Price Information Service analyst told CNN how the consumer will be feeling the effects of a global shortage of diesel and these skyrocketing prices.

“Really high diesel prices get passed on to the consumer and whether that’s for construction, whether that’s for delivering groceries to the grocery store where you’re gonna buy, whatever it is you need,” said Denton Cinquegrana, chief oil analyst, OPIS.

For Andy Thompson, it may affect his next generation as well.

“I was going to leave a little something to my family, to my kids. Now I have to use that for my wife and myself to live on,” he said.

The Biden Administration says it may tap into a diesel reserve, the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, to ease the diesel shortage. Some analysts expect the impact of that to be minimal.

When it comes to gas prices, you are paying 71 cents more for a gallon than you were a month ago. In many areas of New York state, Monday’s prices are record prices.

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