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Gas Prices Above $4 a Gallon in Southern Tier

Written By: Renata Stiehl

Prices Jump at the Pump

Gas Prices Top $4 a Gallon
     ELMIRA (WENY) -- Gas prices have been flirting with four dollars a gallone for a while now, but today several stations in the Southern Tier crossed over the threshold - the first time for a gallon of regular unleaded this year.
     With Memorial Day on the horizon, we could be in for a long, expensive summer.
     TJ Murphy of Canandaigua filled up his tank at the Dandy Mini Mart on Church Street in Elmira Wednesday afternoon. He travels for work, filling up two to three times a week. Fortunate for him, his employer pays the tab; TJ knows he's lucky.
"It definitely makes people cut back on travel in a large way, I'm sure," he said.
     Southern Tier gas prices climbed as high as $4.05 today for a gallon of regular unleaded. Just across the border in Pennsylvania, gas is 12 cents cheaper than Elmira, and plenty of New Yorkers were taking advantage of the discount, including Albert Newcomer, who blames oil prices on greedy companies.
     "It's still not gonna stop, how can you stop someone who wants money? How can you do it, you can't do it!" he exclaims.
     Newcomer drives 30 miles each way to his job in Waverly four times a week, filling up in the Northern Tier when he can. But he worries the day will come when his paycheck only covers the gas in his tank. Today, he spend more than $62 to fill the 15 gallon tank in this Jeep Grand Cherokee.
     "I just wish we could get it to stop. It ain't gonna happen. Who's gonna stop it? You got me!" Newcomer said. He thinks Congress should do something about the rising oil prices.
     At AAA in Elmira Heights, branch manager Pam Patterson knows there's no crystal ball to predict future prices, but all eyes are on the upcoming start to summer as an indicator of gas prices headed into the driving season.
     "Memorial day will be a big test to see what happens," Patterson said.
     Some analysts have predicted $5 a gallon for gas before summer. According to NewYorkStateGasPrices.com, this time last year gas in New York averaged about $3.73 a gallon, topping out around $4.15 in mid-May.
     Back in 2008, as the economy started to decline, regular unleaded reached a high of about $4.28 a gallon in June, before dropping significantly.