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May 1, 2012 2:34 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East End Has Among Highest Gas Prices In State

May 1, 2012 6:08 PM

Last Friday, the average price of gasoline in Montauk reached a whopping $4.69 per gallon, the second-highest price in New York State, according to Oil Price Information Service, a company that tracks petroleum pricing.

That same day, nine communities on the East End were in the top 100 average highest gas prices among the 870 communities surveyed by OPIS. Amagansett was number four, with gas at an average of about $4.46 a gallon. Westhampton Beach and Sag Harbor villages were numbers 12 and 13, respectively, with gas there priced at about $4.36. Southampton was number 64, with gas at an average of about $4.24.

The average price of gas nationwide was high in recent weeks but has been stabilizing in the last few days and is now hovering at around $3.82 a gallon. Still, East End residents haven’t stopped feeling the pinch at the pump.

The costs of transporting gasoline to Long Island and the wealthy demographic of communities on the East End could explain why prices here are so high, according to Robert Sinclair Jr., the manager of media relations for AAA New York. Recent closures of nearby oil refineries is another reason gas prices are higher in the Northeast compared to other parts of the country, he said.

What’s really needed to address high gas prices is a new approach to fuel efficiency, say some. Gordian Raacke, the executive director of the non-profit group Renewable Energy Long Island in East Hampton, said he bikes to work every morning from Northwest Woods to East Hampton Village—a commute of about 12 minutes. He drives a Toyota Prius, a fuel-efficient hybrid car, but even he has noticed the rise in prices.

Mr. Raacke said he believes society needs to make a greater commitment to fuel efficiency. As a native of Germany, he said there’s more of an emphasis on cleaner methods of transportation in Europe, more bike lanes and bikers. It’s not uncommon to see older citizens biking to the grocery store, he said. It’s also rare to see SUVs.

“One thing is very clear—we are addicted to fossil fuels, and that includes gasoline, and our very wasteful use of gasoline drives up demand unnecessarily and therefore can drive up prices,” he said.

High gas prices have made their way into the national political dialogue, with Republicans pushing for more domestic drilling. But some experts say there isn’t much the government can do in the short term to significantly lower prices.

“It’s disingenuous to try and say that there’s anything that can be done by anyone or any number of elected officials to affect gasoline prices,” said Mr. Sinclair. “You are seeing things that are the result of market conditions.”

Oil is a commodity that is subject to the whims of the global market, according to U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, a Democrat. Speculation and trading also greatly influence the price of a barrel of oil. On the federal level, Mr. Bishop said, he sponsored a bill about a year ago called the Taxpayer and Gas Price Relief Act, which would repeal $40 billion in tax breaks currently given to the top five oil companies over the course of ten years. The bill has been awaiting action in the appropriate committees, Mr. Bishop said, but he also acknowledged that with the Republican majority in the House, it’s “highly unlikely” the measure will go anywhere.

Prices of gas vary widely across the state despite attempts to equalize it: the lowest price reported was about $3.89 in Irving last week, and the highest, $4.81, was in Armonk. State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said he has tried to address the disparity by sponsoring legislation in 2008 that was later signed into law making it illegal for gas retailers to charge different prices in different communities. He’s now looking to strengthen the current zone pricing legislation and close some loopholes based on recent recommendations for amendments by the state attorney general’s office. Both he and New York State Senator James S. Alesi of Rochester, who has sponsored similar legislation in the Senate, are working on moving the bills to the floor for a vote this year, although, Mr. Thiele said, they’re encountering “stiff opposition from the oil companies.”

New York State taxes on gas contribute to the high price, making it sometimes 40 to 50 cents higher than neighboring New Jersey, he said. According to an anecdotal survey Mr. Thiele has been conducting each month this year, on Saturday, April 28, the average price of gas between Southampton and East Hampton towns was $4.15 per gallon. The average North Fork price was $4.05 per gallon.

“Prices had increased dramatically between February and April, by up to 40 cents,” Mr. Thiele stated in a press release. “Prices stabilized in the month of April. However, prices on the South Fork did not decline as they did in other parts of Long Island and New York State. Prices on the South Fork are now 5 cents higher than the LI average, 5 cents higher than the New York State average.”

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By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 3, 12 8:52 AM
I often wonder why the price of premium gas at the Hess station is Quogue is always higher than the premium gas at the Hess in Riverhead? Same company, same gas! And then you throw the Hess in Hampton Bays which is even higher than the Hess in Quogue. Perhaps this is an example of PRICE GOUGING BY LOCATION!!!
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on May 3, 12 11:06 AM
Not news :(
By goldenrod (505), southampton on May 3, 12 11:37 AM
This is news? I wonder if 'sayitaintsojoe' is a newcommer to the fabled East End.Or maybe he/she is new to driving (Mom was the chauffeur) and has just discovered what everyone else knows. Truth is when the trucks cross the Shinnecock Canal the price on everything goes up 10%.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on May 3, 12 3:50 PM
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on May 4, 12 12:54 PM
'summertime' your comment would make more sense if you were talking about locations east of the canal...unless you believe the gas is unloaded in Montauk and shipped west. Every place listed by 'sayitaintsojoe' is WEST of the canal.
By KrisV (12), East Quogue on May 3, 12 4:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
What other obvious nonsense can we write about?
By patrickstar (67), hampton bays on May 3, 12 4:16 PM
We could write about the price gouging on gasoline credit card purchases. That is supposed to be illegal I've heard but goes on all over the place.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on May 3, 12 5:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
No, it's a CASH DISCOUNT!!

By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 3, 12 7:49 PM
The lack of postion limits, and the change in the definition of what constitutes a physical hedger in 1991 is something else we can write about.

Without "postion limits", speculators can buy up a commodity, and create a totally fake "crisis" of supply.

At the height of the "oil crisis" a few years back, crude was trading at $120 a bbl., and was being sold by OPEC at $45 a barrel. It's a shame OWS can't find a way to get their point across, using the right ammo...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 3, 12 6:55 PM
You all are being ripped off!
By BlackDog (47), Boca Raton on May 3, 12 7:41 PM

After we removed that evil tyrant murdering S.O.B of a President, Saddam Hussein from Iraq. The man who raped, butchered and poisoned Innocent women & children for political reasons our President, Barrack Hussein should have demanded in exchange for removing This international terrorist supporter and his thug sons Uday that Qusay and their rape squad justice that the people of Iraq should repay us for our deed with OIL!
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on May 3, 12 9:36 PM
As I recall, the United States installed him in Iraq...
May 5, 12 9:49 PM appended by Mr. Z
And he was hung to death in 2006, Do the math in regard to the occupier of the Oval Office...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 3, 12 9:49 PM
You no it Z man! dats correct! We had no business being in Iraq.
By local 84 (353), riverhead on May 4, 12 7:42 PM
Yes MR. Z we wanted him to gas 365,000 Innocent people, Please do you hear yourself sometimes
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on May 3, 12 11:59 PM
We always get screwed out here. They all think that we are the bazillionaires. The billions in profit in the oil compaines are testimentt to the fact that they continue to rape dollars off the backs of the working class. There really is no reason for the price of oil to be so volitile expect for the millions of dollars that the traders make shorting and longing oil everyday.

27Dan Thats what should happen for years and years and years!
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on May 4, 12 6:55 AM
2 members liked this comment
Ever since the clandestine modification of the 1936 CEA by Goldman Sachs, via their acquistion of J. Aron and the approval by Laurie Ferber to "amend" the definition of speculator/physical hedger, the market was ripe for fraud and false "crises" of supply.

Must be nice to be able to undermine an Act of Congress, without the vote, or approval of that governing body...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 4, 12 4:02 PM
Don't worry. We were promised by Rep. Tim Bishop when he first came to office that he was going to get to the bottom of gas price gouging on the East End.
By Dr Spock (36), Hampton Bays on May 4, 12 6:06 PM
Glad someone has a memory Dr. Spock ... the only legislator that has tried to seriously address this has been Thiele ... now let's hear from all the "I know it all and hate that person" politickers ... left and right on this site!
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on May 4, 12 9:00 PM
Uh, you all know that we have plenty of oil in the USA, right? It might be a good idea if we actually use our own resources and let the OPEC nations that we no longer need their product. I know, I know... if we drill here we might upset some bird population. I guess the better solution is to buy from countries that hate us and rip us off, and continue to send 19 year olds over there to get blown up. At least we can feel good about making the OPEC members billionaires as we know they will share and ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 5, 12 10:42 AM
2 members liked this comment
The Street is the one "ripping" us off, thanks to Greenspan and his "free market" cohorts in the last thirty years. Even OPEC reps last year in Vienna stated there was a state of overproduction. Even during the 1990 Iran-Iraq conflict, there were not price spikes like we have seen recently.

What changed?

The rules of the Street's market, for one. The way the commodities market is structured second, and thirdly, let's not forget all those "greenbacks" Greenspan rolled off the ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 5, 12 8:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
Apply what to who and how? I don't think an occupy movement is going to change things. If you are looking for some kind of revolution in the USA you will wait have to wait a long, long time. I sure as heck don't want to be around for something like that because conditions would have to deteriorate to a point where everyday would be like a living nightmare. Make a car that runs on some kind of solar / kinetic energy source for around $15,000 and I'll buy one.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 6, 12 4:17 PM
You think American oil companies are patriots? if the world oil price is higher than our price, the oil companies will just export it.Everybody should be driving a vehicle that gets over forty mpg.,then you would be a patriot.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on May 6, 12 5:45 PM
The way OWS is running their show, the only thing they will change is the attitude towards them from bad, to worse. These jokers can barely run a block, let alone a protest. You can't screw with the people you are claiming to protest in defense of, and expect their backing. Truth be told, is that a good ninety percent of the American public has absolutely no idea how our markets function, and are currently structured. If they did, well, Henry Ford put it best:

"It is well enough that ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 6, 12 7:43 PM
So what are our choices?
1. Join the ranks of the old boys club? We know we aren't invited.
2. Fight the man? Yeah,with toothpicks and sarcasm.
3. Don't drive? This is Long Island, we have to.
4. Buy a fuel efficient vehicle? Good start.
5. Lean on elected officials to exploit our resources? As much as we can, yes.
6. Let the private sector develop motor vehicles that do not run on fossil fuels? Yes, and the private sector does a better job than the govt of hashing out who'll ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 6, 12 9:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Your post is too reasonable for these boards. More crazy pre-conceived political notions unsupported by facts, please.
By lucky and aware (44), Speonk on May 6, 12 11:33 PM
Well, if you own the old LI Automotive Museum property, I have some cutting edge, fossil fuel alternative ideas for you...
May 6, 12 11:38 PM appended by Mr. Z
LIfe, though fragile in complexity, is a driving force in the Universe. Ask any comet...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 6, 12 11:38 PM
you want facts.... OWS is socialism run wild, It is obvious that voting for one’s living is a great deal easier than working for it. It is easier to blame someone else who is wealthier for a reduction in the standard of living than to look in the mirror and ask hard questions about the nature and effect an expansionist government has on the quality of life in a society in general.
The driver of this process is at its most basic level envy. In a democratic system it is very simple to ...more
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on May 7, 12 9:19 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 7, 12 10:58 AM
and it would be nice to have a Federal Admin that stops throwing money at failed ventures and fairy tales. Or better yet, stay out of the gambling world altogether. I can dream.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 7, 12 11:21 AM
The M2 factor in our economy has SKYROCKETED from about 3.8 trillion, to over 8.4 trillion since about 1994. It is the single largest twenty year financial increase in the money supply EVER. There is no comparison. NONE.

All this fiat currency inflates prices, invites fraud, and created the "Billionaire".
May 7, 12 6:42 PM appended by Mr. Z
Seriously joe, the system is fundamentally broken. Has been for over a decade. Thomas Jefferson supposedly said: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 7, 12 6:42 PM
Just out of curiousity, have you ever heard of the "Weimar Republic"?

Similar to the story of Yap Island...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 7, 12 9:39 PM
Of course we have heard of the Wiemar republic that is why i invest in sliver and gold. Buffet is a fool silver and gold are the only real money. We have got to stop this Quantitative easing for it is a dangerous experiment with consequences we will have to live with for years to come. France has made a fatal mistake...having now elected a socialist government. This event should be instructive to us.
France currently has a government that absorbs more than 50 percent of its economy. They have ...more
By local 84 (353), riverhead on May 7, 12 11:32 PM
If you read what I just wrote you realze what a fool Joe is for saying this.france is correct Joe is a fool a fool I tell you. YES WE CAN!
By local 84 (353), riverhead on May 7, 12 11:35 PM
Uh, Local. You may want to read that again.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 8, 12 8:00 AM
Listen , Jr Jihadi... What I said about Buffet is true... he and his side kick Charlie Munger have ulterior motives. But why am I even speaking to you is beyond me.
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on May 8, 12 10:14 AM
Problem is, you're buying precious metals, with fiat currency.

At least you'll have something, if the currency bubble implodes and gold ends up being $35 an ounce.

The other thing that begs asking is, are you actually buying these precious metals, or just a piece of paper that says you did? Kind of like all those stocks that were never actually delivered to shareholders, but traded for money just the same...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 8, 12 2:22 PM
This is the quandary Z it costs a lot to ship and insure... and I am a bit nervous being it is in certificates. I feel it is still better than buying face book or apple stock
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on May 8, 12 9:04 PM
@ local 84:

"Quantitative Easing" is NOT an experiment.

It is a new name, for an old economic practice that has always ended in fiscal disaster.

New spin, same old shenanigan...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 8, 12 10:51 PM
@ joe:

Other thing to remember is that if the dollar should collapse, the next thing the Fed will do after stabilizing the free fall, is most likely ban all exports of gold from the U.S., sieze all gold inside of American borders, and give you "fair market' value for your holdings. In addition, you will most likely be hit with a "windfall tax" as well, so in a nutshell it probably wouldn't make a lick of difference that you had any in the firstplace...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 10, 12 6:05 PM
Thats when butter and bullets come in.You must be diversified in your insurance plan my friend.
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on May 12, 12 2:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
How and why was that pulled down? It was directly related to the topic.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 7, 12 11:46 AM
Smoke and fog, fog and smoke.

Gas prices are too high and hurting the economy, driving up food prices, reducing travel etc, etc, etc.
The Obama Admin has
A. Done a good job in addressing the problem and finding a viable solution
B. Has done a poor job and not used available resources in order to find a viable solution.

Captain Smith is dead so I'm concerned with who is currently at the helm.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 8, 12 8:07 AM
Speculation on Wall St is beyond obscene and against the well being of our Country. Here's another tactic. We have a tremendous supply of Natural gas. Convert all fleet vehicles to natural gas. The demand for gas would plummet
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on May 8, 12 11:14 AM
If you increased the use of a resource, i.e. commodity such as natural gas, how exactly would demand plummet?

Seems to me that it would defy all market logic. In addition, you are looking at at least $2000 to convert a vehicle to CNG, and at least $4000 for the apparatus to compress street gas into a fuel cylinder. Six, to ten grand later, plus KeySpan at your house and you are good as gold. Imagine what labor for a municipal mechanic, and the equipment would cost to convert a fleet. ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 8, 12 11:00 PM
Who said anything about demand plummeting. Its about starving out the middle east. If we could strangle the money going to these dirt bag nations we would no longer have to fight the wars on terror. Then if China would play fair with its currency all would be right with the world again.
By They call me (2826), southampton on May 9, 12 12:30 PM
Mr.T bob, I did not think I would live long enough to agree with something you said but today It happened, I have been saying the same thing for 2 years. Problem is Obama does not like the idea he wants to run our trucks on allege.
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on May 8, 12 1:23 PM
"run our trucks on allege"?

Here's a little science for you. Algae lipid yield blows away any other biomass fuel alternative. This includes jatropha nuts. With new inline ultrasound mixing processes, which create 3000K temperatures to react the algal lipids with alcohol, and lye to create CARBON NEUTRAL diesel fuel, the process is superior to any other fuel producing technology.

You know what else I've been meaning to ask you? How do you feel about all the methyl mercury, and ...more
May 8, 12 2:34 PM appended by Mr. Z
And, I almost forgot. The alcohol you need can be produced by algae also. That means you don't have to use food (technically, since algae is food) for fuel. Also, the leftover cake after the algae is done being extracted is nonj-toxic, and can be sold as feed for fish, and some animals.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 8, 12 2:34 PM
Can I buy it for $2.50 a gallon? That would make me happy.
Until we mass produce the alternative we have to use what we have, right?
Soooo... why not go get us some oil from the good old USA and develop the alternative as well? We can do both, yes?
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 8, 12 5:42 PM
You can buy a hybrid today and cut your fuel costs in half! Or you can complain and wait for someone else to save the world for you.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on May 9, 12 8:12 AM
Progress, do I make policy? No, I don't. I drive fuel efficient cars because I have control over that. As for complaining and wanting someone else to save the world for me, you may want to look to your left a little. I'm not afraid of the world at all. I'm afraid of paying for everyone who is.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 9, 12 11:16 AM
Phil: Are you better off today under the Obama regime than you were under G W Bush?
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 9, 12 7:45 AM
Every sane American is better off today than we were when Bush fought two illegal wars and drove the economy into a ditch. Millions of kids are better off for being able to stay on their parent's insurance. The rest of the world once again looks to America with respect. Bin Laden is DEAD! Most of the top Al Qaeda operative are dead! Under Bush there was a net LOSS of jobs - Obama has a net GAIN. Gay men and women can now serve freely in the military. Women are entitled to equal pay and the ...more
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on May 9, 12 8:10 AM
Yeah! Finally someone nailed it. Now we can talk openly about it. Gas prices are higher on the east end because people who don't like Obama are racists! I am so grateful that this is finally out in the open. Fuel prices... the new race issue.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 9, 12 11:19 AM
Go Romney!
May 9, 12 12:12 PM appended by They call me
Progress if you had a husband he would patently explain to you that you did not get your moneys worth for over FIVE TRILLION in 4 years. BuBUY Barry!
By They call me (2826), southampton on May 9, 12 12:12 PM
You no it boo, Mr Obamas Alinsky method of community organization and running the country is working, and I for one am loving watching you folk panic as you lose you grip on the power. Whether you like it or not redistribution of wealth is necessary to balance out the playing field. The unions and Obama care are the best means to that end.Like the president said last year some people have made enough money. Now move over while we bring social justice to a theater near you. B.P.
By local 84 (353), riverhead on May 9, 12 12:24 PM
Yes, all of us who secretly hold the power convene here daily to formulate our master plan for world domination. If not for you pesky kids we'd have the world in our hands. How in the world did you figure it all out? Racists, haters and hoarders is our lot. Alas, our plans foiled. Our gas guzzlers empty. We gather to scrape the algae out of our fish tanks and eagerly await 4 more years of practical, no wait, brilliant leadership from the mighty O. How lucky we are.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 9, 12 12:53 PM
The war on women, Phil? C'mon you don't really buy into that nonsense, do you? You are a smart guy, debate on policy differences not propaganda.

Why can't we develop alt fuels sources AND exploit our resources at the same time? The Obama admin has done a horrendous job by throwing money at failed ventures and blocking efforts to exploit our own resources. I don't care what side of the aisle you get all excited about, that's just a bad job. If you support the Obama admin you should expect ...more
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on May 9, 12 9:17 PM
Progress, some of the facts of your claims, are let’s say, not so factual and worthy of correction. With gas at 61% higher at this point in Obama’s term than the same point in Bush’s, W had a net gain of jobs – 1.1 million according to factcheck. Obama continues to have a net loss of jobs of about 1.6 million. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are no less “illegal” than our current military efforts in Libya. The kids you reference who now have health insurance, ...more
By Mr. Snerdley (397), Southampton on May 10, 12 2:08 PM
Not even close there Phil. I mentioned none of the above and never disputed gas went to $4 under during Bush. I do think gas prices are influenced by many factors. One of which is energy policy. If your policy is to drive prices higher as it is with Obama, well, no crap Sherlock, of course the spculators will play an even more prevalent role; they know it will go higher. During Bush's first 26 months in office gas went up 7%. During Obama's firs 26 months - prices are up 67% - at $3.10 a gallon. ...more
By Mr. Snerdley (397), Southampton on May 10, 12 6:09 PM
Yeah, that all sounds good. Until the crack wears off 4 and a half minutes later. Then you realize that the rich got WAY richer and the poor got WAY poorer. But take another hit off the glass, everything will be working once again....until the next time.
By Stephen Maybaline (18), Southampton on May 11, 12 4:36 PM
It matters not what the shady attorney from chi-town did or did not do. His 1 terms is almost over and that will be in. Can you smell the tea-pot about to blow?
By Stephen Maybaline (18), Southampton on May 11, 12 4:33 PM