WXXI AM News

AAA: Gas prices unlikely to hit $3 a gallon this summer

Jun 7, 2019

Credit Alex Crichton/WXXI News

Three dollars a gallon.

That's the gas price where AAA of Western and Central New York says consumers start to make lifestyle changes regarding driving. But thanks to efficient refinery operations and cheap crude oil prices, we shouldn’t see $3-a-gallon gas here this summer.

Lindsay Kensy from AAA said the auto club believes we’ve already seen the highest gas prices we’ll see this year -- on Memorial Day weekend -- but a disruption to either refineries or crude oil prices could cause an increase at the pumps.

"As we get closer to the fall, we talk about the effect that hurricanes can have on gas prices," Kensy said. "If a hurricane hits the Gulf Coast -- there are a lot of refineries down there -- we will see gas prices go up."

Demand is another factor that is helping to curb prices right now. While AAA calls the current demand "robust," it's expecting a record number of travelers to hit the road for summer trips. With gas reserves at a low level, a spike in demand could mean paying more at the pump.

"So if demand rises while gasoline stocks remain low, we could see some increases," Kensy said. "If the supply tightens and the demand goes up, we will see some increases in prices."

The average price for regular unleaded gas in the Rochester area is $2.87 a gallon.