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May 27 - JUNE 03, 2014

Niagara Paying More for Gasoline Though No One Seems Too Surprised

By Mike Hudson

May 27, 2014

Even Being Indian Don't Help Here!
Last weekend. the average Regular gas price in Niagara Falls, NY was $3.87, which is $0.24 higher than U.S. national average for Regular gas which was $3.63. At Smokin Joe's, a native American gas station that does not have to pay state taxes, Regular gas was $3.68, which is five cents more than the national average. Isn't it funny? People around here pay more even at Indian stations than the average person does for gas in the rest of the nation.


With the Memorial Day weekend marking the official beginning of the summer driving season, a comparative analysis of what we in Niagara Falls pay for gasoline as opposed to what people in the rest of the country pay seemed to be in order.

And now, sitting in the newsroom getting ready to type up the results of this exhaustive research, I ask myself a simple question: Will a single one of the thousands of you reading this now be surprised to learn that we here in Niagara Falls are getting beat up every time we go to the pump?

I thought not. So let's get down to brass tacks.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline around the country this week is $3.67. Here in Niagara Falls, prices over the weekend ranged from $3.81 to $3.96 a gallon, averaging $3.87 a gallon

That's 20 cents more than the national average and way more than the $3.49 they're paying in Minnesota. In fact, when you look around, even the untaxed gas sold by Native Americans such as Smokin' Joe Anderson on the Tuscarora Reservation doesn't seem like such a good deal.

Anderson is charging $3.68 for a gallon of regular at his place, a nickel higher than average nationally.

The reasons behind the disparity in prices are many, experts say.

This year, drivers in the Midwest, Great Plains states and the Rockies are paying quite a bit less than they did a year ago on Memorial Day weekend. The Minnesota average of $3.49 is 78 cents lower than last year, the biggest drop in the nation. Drivers in North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa and Kansas are all paying at least 50 cents per gallon less.

That's because last year some big Midwest refineries were taken offline to be upgraded to handle cheaper Canadian crude oil. That work is done and the refineries are churning out a lot of fuel, pushing down prices in the region.

The story is different on the coasts, though. Refineries there have to pay higher prices for global crude, and more refineries are seeing downtime in Texas and Louisiana than in recent springs. Gulf coast refiners supply much of the nation, and especially the coasts, with fuel.

Pennsylvania drivers are paying $3.77 per gallon on average. That's 27 cents higher than what they paid last year, the biggest increase in the country.

And, as usual, California drivers are paying the most in the lower 48 states, at $4.15 per gallon, about 10 cents higher than last Memorial Day weekend.

So count your blessings. At least you don't live in California, that land of fruits and nuts, where you could cut the smog with a knife at rush hour despite the insane taxes levied in an effort to get people to give up their cars.

Still though, you live in Niagara Falls, and once again you're paying more than most people for a commodity you can't do without.





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