SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Gas prices in Syracuse are the highest they have been all year. Not only can people see the prices rising…
“I can feel it in my wallet,” Patrick Lotts said.
Prices per gallon in Syracuse are up nearly 30 percent since this time last year according to AAA. Construction workers like Patrick Lotts and his son Austin spend $160 each week on gas filling up his Dodge Ram pickup truck.
After a year that presented more challenges than usual, the duo says high gas prices are just another struggle to add to a list that’s already long.
“You just can’t win,” Austin Lotts said. “In this day and age, there’s just no such thing as winning anymore. It’s just trying to keep up.”
Kylea Skinner is another person who has been negatively impacted by Syracuse’s soaring gas prices, but in a different way. Skinner is a high school student, who makes her money picking up part-time stints such as babysitting jobs.
We’ve all been there, so it should come as no surprise that Skinner is lucky if she makes the minimum wage at her gigs. Because of the low pay she is receiving, Skinner, too, is frustrated by the higher gas prices.
“We think we are making more from minimum wage [because it is higher now than it used to be] but it’s getting taken out in things like gas and taxes and now government requests more,” Skinner said.
If you think that gas prices only seem high compared to last year’s coronavirus prices, think again. In 2019 at this time, the average gallon of gas in Syracuse was $2.78 compared to $3.16 today.
Syracuse isn’t alone in its soaring prices. In New York state, the current average is up 90 cents from one year ago. Nationally, today’s average of $3.13 is nearly a dollar higher than the average price at this time last year.
AAA representative April Engram says the increase in price has one reason at its core: the loosening restrictions on travel bans.
“More people are traveling now, more people are also traveling internationally,” Engram said. “All of this sudden increase in travel, and sudden increase in need for gasoline is really what’s pushing up our prices.”
Engram says demand will continue to increase, and the only solution is increasing the supply.
“The only way we will see relief at the pump is if crude oil production increases,” Engram said.
That decision lies in the hands of OPEC, an international organization that governs the export of petroleum. The group had planned to meet earlier this week, but that meeting was postponed. But until a new date is set, people like Skinner may find themselves spending less time behind the wheel.
“A car gives you freedom, but now it’s being taken away,” Skinner said.
The truth is, the gas prices likely aren’t done rising, either. According to Triple A, the National gas price is expected to increase to $3.25 this month. The last time that the national average was that high was in 2014.
To keep an eye on the gas prices in Syracuse, New York, or the United States, head to AAA’s gas prices site.