HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The price of gas is unusually high right now, and local drivers are feeling the impact.
According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania is $3.42. Last year at this time it was just $2.49.
Experts say it’s because there’s a lot more demand for gas than there was at the height of the pandemic. Doni Lee Spiegel is the spokeswoman for AAA Central Penn. She notes that this is a trend happening nationally.
“When you have demand outpacing our supply that’s when you’re going to see prices push up,” Spiegel said.
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Pennsylvanians may be feeling it more than most though because our state has a higher gas tax than many others.
“When you do a comparison we’re usually at the higher end of the list. That is because we have more roadways, more bridges even though we’re smaller in size than some of the bigger states,” Spiegel said.
Robert Macedonio commutes from Duncannon to the Philadelphia area for work, so the higher prices are hitting him extra hard.
“I think it’s a crock, it’s a shame,” Macedonio said. “It’s costing me $300-$400 a week, depending on where I get my gas.”
Michael Robbins is noticing the difference in his wallet too. “It’s $3.25 now, that’s insane,” Robbins said. “I hate it. Like, I know it could be lower.”
Driver Amy Lizza says it’s definitely inconvenient for her, but she’s hopeful it’s temporary. “I think they’ll go down eventually, I don’t think they’re going to stay this way,” Lizza said.
But Spiegel says don’t hold your breath. Unless the supply issues improve she warns we may see these prices for a while. “I don’t expect the prices to change. We are expecting this trend to continue,” Spiegel said.
That means it could impact holiday travel. Some families may opt to fly instead of driving. “Traveling less that’s for sure and relying on just finding those lucky plane tickets on sale,” Robbins said.
Others are willing to pay a bit extra for gas to continue their holiday traditions. “I’m doing the road trip to Wilkes-Barre,” Lizza said.
For now, we’re all stuck feeling the pain at the pump. “It’s the world we live in, welcome to 2021,” Macedonio said.
If you’re planning to travel for the holidays Spiegel suggests planning ahead and being flexible. You can calculate the expected gas costs for your road trip here.