Gas Prices Not So Different from Up-Island Now

All across the Island gas prices have been on the rise. And if you think those prices keep growing as you get farther east, you’re right.
Earlier this month New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele conducted his monthly survey of gas prices spanning the South Fork region. The survey cataloged that South Fork prices between August 14 and September 4 rose 6 cents a gallon—the same as the rest of Long Island. However, since September 4, gas prices have continued increasing, as much as 15 cents per gallon.
“The average South Fork gas price is about $4.15 but remains higher in Amagansett and Montauk,” Thiele said.
Thiele’s survey includes prices stretching across the South Fork on or near Montauk Highway from Southampton to Montauk Point. The survey noted that gas prices might be higher or lower in the region away from the main road.
“I noted certain gas station companies had 5- or 6-cent differences between Hampton Bays and East Hampton, but I understand the cost goes up the farther east you go,” commented the assemblyman.
Although South Fork gas prices have spiked in recent weeks, they still remain consistent with gas prices throughout the rest of the county, which hasn’t always been the case.
In May, the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) released a report that found nine South Fork communities ranked within the top 100 highest gas prices among the 870 communities in the tri-state area included in the survey. Amagansett was the highest South Fork town on that list at number four with a price of $4.46 per gallon. Westhampton Beach was number 12 on the same list at $4.36.
But now, largely due to Thiele’s persistence and diligent crackdown on price gouging on the East End, the gap is negligible.
“There’s only a minimal cost difference, if any, between South Fork gas stations and those farther up the Island,” Thiele said. “From what I’ve been told, this recent price flux is related to the transitioning from summer fuels to winter fuels.” Refineries are retooling in order to produce winter blends of gasoline, which tends to create mini gas shortages. In addition, Hurricane Isaac’s journey up through the Gulf Region forced numerous oil facilities to shut down, causing prices to go up as supply dwindled. However, prices are expected to decline again in coming weeks.
Only a short while ago it seemed that South Fork prices were significantly higher—especially in select beach towns around summer holiday weekends—than those of the surrounding townships.
Thiele worked hard to enact strict zoning laws, which would restrict gas station owners from price gouging. “I think there were some stations out here guilty of gouging around Memorial Day,” he said. “I know the summer is great for business, but some stations were charging significantly more.”
In addition to his zoning endeavors, the assemblyman has been working on legislation to prohibit charging much more for gas when paying with a credit card. However, no agreement was reached.
“I understand business cost and covering what they pay when people pay with credit,” Thiele said. “I get charging a 5-cent to 10-cent difference, but when they were charging a dollar more for using a credit card is when it got crazy.”
Thiele continues to call for Senate action to strengthen  still further New York’s law on zone pricing of gasoline as recommended by the State Attorney General. New zoning restrictions were passed back in June, but require the Senate’s approval before they can come into effect.
The Senate will vote on the matter in November, and Thiele is optimistic, noting, “I have a good feeling about it—though I have no inside knowledge on the matter, I feel certain.”

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