Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

gas prices

December 11, 2018 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

AAA of Western New York reports that gas prices throughout the region continue to drop.  

From AAA:

  • Batavia -- $2.81 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.83 (down 5 cents since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.61 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.72 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.74 (down 2 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.62 (down 4 cents since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.87 (no change since last week)
December 6, 2018 - 3:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, gas prices, news.

Press release:

In his continued effort to alleviate the stark difference in gasoline prices from county to county, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has called for action from current New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood and incoming Attorney General Letitia James in a letter sent last week.

Hawley is supporting several pieces of bipartisan legislation aimed at reforming the General Business Law regulating zone pricing to protect consumers against unfair gasoline pricing practices. He plans to make such initiatives a priority come the start of the 2019 Session. 

“I am fully aware that zone pricing is prohibited by General Business Law 399-ee but I also know that there are several flaws in the statute that precludes effective enforcement,” Hawley says in the letter.

“In most instances Genesee and Orleans county gas prices range much higher than the surrounding counties. I have seen firsthand the pricing at gas stations in these counties priced $.15-$.25 more per gallon than the various stations located in the surrounding contiguous counties: Erie and Monroe.”

Gasoline retailers locally remain $0.10 - $0.20 per gallon higher than their counterparts in the Rochester area with many stations in Genesee and Orleans counties, which Hawley represents, averaging around $3 per gallon compared to the statewide average of $2.76.

Hawley finished the letter by requesting an investigation by the Attorney General, “I would appreciate your timely review and full investigation of this matter as well as any action that may be taken to bring this issue to a resolution.”

July 21, 2009 - 6:57am
posted by Jim Hink in gas prices.

How come Batavia's gas prices are so much higher than Rochester's?????

October 22, 2008 - 7:49am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices.

The Buffalo News reports this morning that gas prices in Western New York are the highest in the state.

The average price in Buffalo is $3.38 per gallon, or 12.7 percent lower than a month ago.  Rochester is paying an average of $3.28 per gallon, which is down 14 percent.

Meanwhile, the national average has fallen 23 percent.

A month ago, Cleveland's price was nearly identical to Buffalo's. But its price has fallen 31 percent since then, to $2.66. In Erie, Pa., the price over the past month is down 18 percent, to $2.96.

Lawrence Southwick Jr., professor emeritus at the University at Buffalo, said prices in New York State are routinely higher than many other states because of taxes and the cost of related regulations.

The News says that Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, has asked the Federal Trade Commissioner chairman to investigate the price discrepancy.

"Your investigation into exactly why gasoline costs significantly more in the Buffalo area than it does in other upstate communities will assist me and my colleagues as Congress takes further action on gasoline prices next year and may uncover cause for the Federal Trade Commission to take enforcement action in the meantime," Higgins wrote in a letter to William Kovacic.

In his letter, Higgins mentioned a few theories arising from previous discussions about why Buffalo's gas prices are higher: the region's distance from oil refineries; differing local taxes and fees; and the amount of retail competition.

High gas prices and high taxes are both job killers.

September 16, 2008 - 8:41am
posted by Philip Anselmo in wbta, gas prices.

WBTA picked up the story this morning that's getting play across the state: Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has warned consumers to watch out for price gouging at the gas pumps in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Gas station owners cannot arbitrarily raise the price of gas as a result of a natural disaster. Folks who suspect price gouging are encouraged to call 1-800-771-7755.

This from the Niagara Gazette:

The average cost of a gallon of unleaded gas in the Buffalo Niagara market was $3.90 Monday — the highest in the state — according to the AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The state average was $3.83 while the national average was a penny more.

[...]

“By the time Hurricane Ike made landfall Friday, retailers (in New York) were already experiencing significant hikes in the wholesale price of gasoline,” said Ralph Bombardiere, executive director of the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops.

[...]

The attorney general’s office took similar action against price gouging after Hurricane Katrina. More than a dozen gas stations across the state were fined more than $63,000 for price gouging then.


In other morning news... National Grid reports that all but about 50 residents of Genesee County got that power back on as of this morning. Most of those folks are in Pavilion. No word on WBTA when those homes will be back on the grid.

August 20, 2008 - 1:32pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Daily News, gas prices.

Have you ever wondered why gas will cost you $4.19 in downtown Batavia while guzzlers in Henrietta are paying $3.67—real prices from last week? Well folks, it's called "zone pricing," and it's another example of why we read lines such as these in the New York Times: "By any measure, Exxon Mobil's performance last year was a blowout." That's from an article this past February, written after the oil giant recorded the highest profit for any company ever. Broken down, the $404 billion in sales translated to a profit of $1,287 for every second of the year in 2007, according to the Times. In case you're wondering, every second of the year, Exxon Mobil earned several hundred dollars more than a minimum wage worker earns in a month. So you know, there are 2,592,000 seconds in a month.

While those staggering inequalities probably won't change any time soon, the state is taking a small but significant step in evening out the playing field of hometown gasoline sales. Tom Wanamaker writes in an article that appears in today's Daily News that the state senate passed lesgilsation yesterday that would "outlaw zone pricing of gasoline." The bill which sailed through the assembly and senate awaits the governor's approval.

Zone pricing is a technique used by petroleum wholesalers in which they determine prices based upon the demographics of the region.

Sen. James Alesi explains zone pricing this way:

"If one area typically is more affluent than another ... the price per gallon determined by the wholesaler, at which gasoline is offered for sale to the retailers may be slightly higher in that area, than an area where the clientele is primarily a working class neighborhood."

New York's North Country Gazette interprets zone pricing slightly differently:

Petroleum companies use "zone pricing to determine geographical price zones based on the demographics of a certain area. For example, in areas where competition is limited, wholesalers will charge a higher per gallon tank price to retailers. Gas retailers who are charged more then pass those increased costs onto the consumers at the pump, in many cases affecting those who are least able to pay.

So, one source figures the phenomenon as affecting the affluent, another decries it as a means of further extorting the poor. Whichever is more accurate, in a time when gas prices are already prohibitive for many, the technique of zone pricing just shouldn't exist.

To learn more about the bill, visit the state assembly Web site.

July 2, 2008 - 11:55am
posted by Patrick D. Burk in gas prices, Obama, McCain, youth football, Big Oil.

I must be getting older....or at least a bit more like Andy Rooney,  the curmudgeonly complainer of 60 Minutes.  Certain things really get to me now, and I make sure some people know that they do.  I get cranky....very, very cranky.

Case in point.  The other day an old friend of mine (who has always been a mid-centered Democrat) told me she wasn't going to vote for President this year.  This was due to the fact that her Mom disliked McCain because he was not really a war hero and her grandfather told her Obama was a Muslim.  That comment certainly bugged me.  Not only is none of it true, it is incinderary and ignorant.  McCain survived a Prisoner of War camp and he survived while his concern increased for his fellow prisoners and his injuries from a plane crash worsened.  Sounds like a true hero to me.  Obama was raised in Kansas and attended a Christian Church that his very American grandparents attended.   Last time I looked, Kansas was not a hotbed of Muslim activity but what was really negative about this comment was the insinuation that if an American citizen is Muslim he must therefore not be a good American.  Only two words for this type of comment.  It is a racist, hateful remark.  Both charges are untrue and I hope the electorate does not believe such bitter, deceitful crap.

That leads me to a local issue.  When, all of a sudden, did the City of Batavia School District become the bad guy in the Youth Football argument.  At our first Board Meeting of this school year, a resolution was planned and passed to see if we could aid in this situation.  This was done knowing that not all the participants are from the City School District and that ourfields are already crowded and hard to maintain without adding more money to the budget.  A phone call from Councilwoman Clattenburg was recieved AFTER the resolution was written and placed on the agenda.  In the spirit of cooperation, and with thanks to Mrs. Clattenburg, we moved forward to make this the first directive given to the Buildings and Grounds Committee for this coming year.

There the board sat yesterday unanamously passing a resolution which states that there will be an investigation and discussion to see if the North Street Extension Property may be developed or another plan that would include the District's property could be used to help alleviate this problem.  Regardless of what some may think, we do like to help and solve, not obstruct and confuse.  The Board of Education and its new superintendent, Margaret Puzio, acted out of a community minded incentive and a pro-youth incentive.  Lo and behold.... a speaker gets up and blasts the board for refusing to act on this issue and refusing to allow Youth Football to use Van Detta.  The statements were all unfounded.  Youth Football has NOT ASKED US to act on this at all.   NO ONE from youth football has contacted us or asked.  Councilwoman Clattenburg asked in accordance with our already planned resolution.  Even staff writer's of the Batavian write negatively about the school and situation without asking the simple question.  If the meeting speaker and the staff writer had asked, they would have found out the truth.  Now they know it.

Complaint number three is simply the result of gas prices and any political candidates "energy policy".  Please listen to what all the politicians and pundits are saying.  Remember it is an election year and in some polls the number one concern the electorate has is the price of gas....so much for insurance and education and security.  The plain truth is that people vote their pocketbook.  No matter what anyone says, that is the truth.  WIth this in mind I ask a simple questionm "Why did we Americans allow Dick Cheney to write a SECRET oil and energy policy and ply us with his fraudulent explanation?"  I have been talking about this failed Bush Energy Doctrine since it was first developed in SECRET.  It contains ways to defuse concern on Global Warming (Even the Whitehouse admits it exists now!  WOW! talk about a baptism!).  It talks about increasing profits to allow for more exploration, but very little exploration has been done.  It in itself promotes our reliance on oil, both foreign and domestic.  Of course that is more money in the pockets of the Bush/Cheney "Friends and Family Plan".

My answer to this was to purchase cars that got close to 40 miles per gallon or more.  Some in the public bought huge machines that get less than 12 miles per gallon.  Here is my idea.  Smaller, more fuel efficient cars should get a gas rebate which will be paid by the higher taxes the BIG HUGE MANLY vehicles will pay to fill up.  That way there will be incentive to purchase and drive the higher mileage vehicles.  Before anyone goes and checks the Constitution, there is no amendment stating that we have rights to be gas guzzlers.  Let the insatiable appetites of the low mileage drivers place this one right on thier backs.  It deserves to be there.

Thanks for listening.....maybe one day, I will replace Andy Rooney...... nah...Batavia is too interesting. 

July 2, 2008 - 9:17am
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, Democrats, gas prices, Jack Davis, energy policy.

Democrat Jack Davis says we need to diversify our energy sources if we hope to see relief at the pumps. Davis was quick to get out his own "energy policy" Tuesday, following the announcement last week by Jon Powers that Davis is bound to his oil interests. Powers' camp released a lengthy statement of the candidate's energy policy last week.

Says Davis:

“Diversifying our energy sources, improving efficiency, and leading on energy conservation can do a lot to increase supply, reduce demand, and lower costs. None of the ideas I have mentioned are particularly dramatic or difficult, but when pursued together, they form a meaningful energy agenda that can get everyone working together.”

“What voters and taxpayers must address is the broken system in Washington. When high priced lobbyists use campaign cash to influence American energy policy, we lose. Their energy policies have given us $4.25 gallon gasoline.”

There was nothing more specific in the release posted on Davis' Web site, and The Batavian was unable to get out to Greece yesterday afternoon for the press conference. We've asked the campaign if they plan to release a more detailed energy policy. We're waiting to hear back.

June 23, 2008 - 8:02am
posted by Philip Anselmo in gas prices, hybrid, trucks.

Thanks to the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce for passing along this timely notice of a hybrid bus and truck seminar going on tomorrow afternoon in Bergen. Here are the details:

The Genesee Region Clean Communities coalition and Leonard Bus Sales Inc. announced today that they are jointly presenting a Hybrid Electric Vehicle Bus and Truck Seminar, on June 24, 2008 from 8:30a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

The event will be held at the Leonard Bus Sales Inc. facility, located at 7150 Apple Tree Ave., Bergen, NY 14416.

The seminar is an educational and informational outreach event for commercial hybrid electric vehicle applications, with a specific focus on school buses, commercial buses and medium-duty trucks. Some program highlights include:

•    Education about hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technology
•    Manufacturer presentations and updates on the latest in truck and bus technology
•    Product reviews
•    Discussion of funding opportunities
•    Equipment show and demonstrations
•    Ride and drive

Invitations for this seminar will be extended to fleet professionals, business and governmental managers and others involved with fleet operations and vehicle selection and who have an interest in commercial truck and bus applications with HEV technology.

This event is made possible through sponsorship by Leonard Bus Sales Inc.; IC Bus LLC; Navistar, Inc.; Regional International; Enova Systems, Inc., and Eaton Corporation.

For additional information about this event, please contact:

David Keefe
Genesee Region Clean Communities
(585) 301-2433

June 19, 2008 - 4:49pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in gas prices, truckers.

Batavia trucker Bill Sutton was one of hundreds of truckers who converged on Albany this morning.

Truckers and Citizens United of New York organized a convoy of fed-up haulers and drivers to meet up at the Betty Beaver Truck Stop in Fultonville and from there: the state capital. From their Web site: "We expect to parade down State Street in Albany by 10:00am and encircle the Capitol Building. Join us at any point along the way in your own vehicle! Be heard! Be seen! Take back our state!"

From Land Line Magazine:

Bill Sutton said he has a challenge for any truckers who use the excuse they can’t afford to participate in the convoy to Albany. He’s had his share of bad luck recently.

Sutton, a flatbedder from Batavia, NY, has been trucking for more than 23 years. However, he said the company he was leased to for 16 years shut down on Friday, June 6. Besides losing his job, he is also out more than $12,000 he was owed in back settlements from the company.

“I got a message that I should be receiving a check for about $3,000 to $4,000, but I may have to wait a year or more to receive the rest, if I get it at all.”

Sutton said he’s participating in the convoy because he believes truckers should stand together to fight toll increases and high fuel taxes truckers in New York face. He is also meeting with his assemblyman, Stephen Hawley, while he’s in Albany to discuss some of the key issues truckers are facing.

“I really believe we are doing the right thing by doing this,” he said. “Even though I am forking out money out of my own pocket to participate in the convoy, I am not willing to just accept what is continually being done to the truck drivers here, which is being taxed to the point they can’t run any longer.”

He said that while many people don’t know his name, they recognize his truck, which is a bright purple 2005 Western Star LowMax.

“People don’t know me, but they know my truck. It’s hard to miss,” he said.

The Associated Press was there when the drivers arrived. They caught up with Sutton who was in the thick of it. Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno addressed the crowd, claiming that it was the Assembly's fault the state gas tax "holiday" didn't pass.

Shortly after his remarks, Bruno got a taste of what it's like to drive a big rig after Sutton, who helped organize the rally, invited him to check out his truck parked nearby.

After a choppy start, Bruno, who doesn't have a commercial driver's license, pulled out into traffic and, after nearly running onto a curb, drove off out of sight. He reappeared a few minutes later, parked the truck and described the experience as "some challenge."

Gov. David Paterson was also on the scene. He said he couldn't support the gas tax "holiday" unless fuel companies promised to pass on the savings to consumers and told the truckers to take their protest to the offices of big oil company executives.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he didn't speak to the truckers because he wasn't invited, adding that the rally was organized by a failed Republican candidate for Assembly who he described as "Tedisco's henchman," referring to Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco.

Vincent Gramuglia, a Fultonville truck-stop owner, was the lead organizer. He lost a bid for the Assembly 18 years ago to Democrat Paul Tonko but said that had nothing to do with the rally.

"This has nothing to do with politics," he said. "This has to do with truckers."

May 29, 2008 - 8:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices.

Gas prices are over $4 per gallon now.  That's got to hurt Batavians who commute to either Buffalo or Rochester for work.

And it's quite possible, likely even, that prices will climb even higher.

What's the impact of gas prices on you?  If you commute, does that have you rethinking either where you live or where you work?  What does it mean for your other household spending?

May 22, 2008 - 9:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, truckers.

The Times-Union reports on a trucker fuel protest and includes a quote from a Batavia-based drier.

Bill Sutton, a trucker from Batavia in western New York, said his truck gets 5 to 5 1/2 miles per gallon. The 300-mile trip to the Capital Region costs him $300 in fuel alone.

He’s avoiding the Thruway whenever possible because “tolls are just ridiculous,” he added. “Do I eat or drive the Thruway?”

A reader comment seems to take direct aim at Sutton's quote:

So to protest high gas prices, truckers took their gas-sucking rigs on a joyride down the Northway? Okay, now it makes sense to me. . .

And you have to wonder, if the more stop-and-go of long-distance non-Thruway driving, and probably longer distance to travel, is Sutton really saving money?  I suppose that depends on how long his routes are.

Yes, high gas prices create serious reverberations throughout the economy, but are the politicians in Albany really in a position to do anything about it?

UPDATE: More from Sutton in this article:

Bill Sutton, of Batavia, said he spent $70,200 on fuel last year when the average cost per gallon of diesel was $3. He expects to spend close to double that total this year. His truck gets about 5.5 miles to the gallon.

“I’ve worked more weekends already this year than I did the last five years together,” the 43-year-old Sutton said. “I was in Florida last weekend. I’m working harder than ever trying to keep up with the bills.”

He said he bought his tractor and hauls trailers for Path Truck Lines which has several offices, including one in Schuylerville.

“I’ll be going to Schuylerville this afternoon and then to Fort Miller to pick up an oversized load of concrete for delivery first thing in the morning near Rochester.”

He said he’s been an owner/operator for 10 years, and when he bought his truck diesel was about $1 a gallon.

“A truck costs $137,000 and I have a mortgage on this,” he said. “Fuel is costing me $3,000 a week. A new set of tires is $4,500. I change my own oil every five weeks and that’s $175 because it takes 10 gallons of oil.”

He said shops charge about $250 to change the oil on a rig. His front tires last 150,000 miles and his back tires about 320,000 miles.

“I change the front tires every fall at a cost of about $850 plus installation,” he said. “If fuel goes to $6 a gallon, I don’t think I can hang on.”

 

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2018 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button