Paying More for Gas in CNY? Sen. Schumer Says to Blame EPA for Rolling Back Mileage Standards

Jun 13, 2018

The prices at this Citgo on E. Genesee St. in Syracuse are among the highest in the area.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

The spike in gasoline costs here in Central New York is making drivers pay the highest prices in more than three years.  One of New York’s Senators says a change in a Trump Administration policy on fuel efficiency could help. 

If you drive, you can’t escape the fact that gas prices have been rising for months.  Senator Chuck Schumer details how our region has been hit over the past year just about as hard as the rest of the state.

“Syracuse, Central New York $2.38 to $3.00...a 62 cent increase.  In Utica-Rome $2.43 to $3.06, that's a 62 cent increase.  So consumers have to take money out of their pockets, not use it for other things, and pay for price of gasoline."

He’s trying to get the Environmental Protection Agency to change a policy he says could help.  Back during the Obama administration, they increased what’s called CAFÉ standards.  The Corporate Average Fuel Economy that car makers would have to reach.  It was pegged at 54 miles a gallon average, across all their vehicles.  Trump Administration EPA chief Scott Pruitt is rolling those back. 

“You don't have to be an economist to understand that scrapping plans to increase the fuel efficiency of our cars forces every consumer to shell out more.  It's also going to hurt the competitiveness of the American auto industry.  The whole world is evolving to making cars that are more fuel efficient, and we’re going the opposite.”

Higher efficiency saves two ways – you use less gas, and reduced demand for gas keeps the price down.  Now he knows Pruitt and the Trump administration are no fans of Obama-era policy.

"Pruitt does what the oil companies want.  That's the problem here.  It's not so much thumbing his nose at previous administrations except when they limited the oil companies.  But the reason he might do this is because the price of gas is going up so high, and it's becoming a real political issue.  President Trump is worrying about it, so I think that gives us some hope.”

Schumer sent a letter Wednesday to EPA to try to get the higher miles per gallon standards reenacted  for the long term affect it will have on gas prices.

Here's the information on fuel prices compiled by Sen. Schumer's office.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price of gas in New York is around $3.07, a $0.0583 increase from last year’s price of $2.487, and now gas prices in each and every major region of New York State have also been spiking.

·         In Albany-Schenectady-Troy gas prices were $2.382 per gallon last year and are currently $2.977 per gallon, a $0.595 increase

·         In Syracuse gas prices were $2.381 per gallon last year and are currently $2.997 per gallon, a $0.616 increase

·         In Utica-Rome gas prices were $2.432 per gallon last year and are currently $3.056 per gallon, a $0.624 increase

·         In Rochester, gas prices were $2.420 per gallon last year and are currently $3.013 per gallon, a $0.593 increase

·         In Batavia, gas prices were $2.422 per gallon last year and are currently $2.992 per gallon, a $0.570 increase

·         In Buffalo-Niagara Falls gas prices were $2.414 per gallon last year and are currently $3.010 per gallon, a $0.596 increase

·         In Binghamton, gas prices were $2.432 per gallon last year and are currently $2.986 per gallon, a $0.554 increase

·         In Ithaca, gas prices were $2.428 per gallon last year and are currently $2.976 per gallon, a $0.548 increase

·         In Elmira, gas prices were $2.386 per gallon last year and are currently $2.960 per gallon, a $0.574 increase

·         In White Plains, gas prices were $2.619 per gallon last year and are currently $3.200 per gallon, a $0.581 increase

·         In Dutchess-Putnam County gas prices were $2.547 per gallon last year and are currently $3.107 per gallon, a $0.560 increase

·         In Kingston, gas prices were $2.393 per gallon last year and are currently $2.966 per gallon, a $0.573 increase

·         In Glens Falls gas prices were $2.399 per gallon last year and are currently $3.016 per gallon, a $0.617 increase

·         In Watertown-Fort Drum gas prices were $2.455 per gallon last year and are currently $3.094 per gallon, a $0.639 increase