Gas prices may stall your plans as summer travel season heats up

GLOVERSVILLE – With local gas prices around $3.80 per gallon for regular, consumers can expect to spend a good sum at the pumps as the summer travel season takes hold.

“They’re out of control,” said Mirella Pazzaglia of Johnstown.

Pazzaglia has a camp on Saranac Lake she can’t go to as often because of the price of gas. She also said she won’t be able to use her boat as much this season.

Christie Samson of Johnstown said she can’t keep up with the prices.

“Every day, it’s a different price,” said Samson, who said she expects to travel less this summer.

According to the American Automobile Association, the national average for regular gas is nearly 20 cents higher per gallon now than it was a year ago.

U.S. drivers will pay the most expensive Fourth of July gas prices since 2008, the AAA reports.

“It is shaping up to be a hot and expensive summer for gas prices, and we have not even hit the busiest time of year yet,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman.

The AAA blames the higher prices on recent unexpected violence in Iraq. Market concerns have driven up global oil prices, making it more expensive to produce gas, an AAA report stated. As the situation stabilizes in Iraq, gas prices have remained relatively flat in recent days.

The conflict in Iraq is unlikely to send gas prices much higher unless there are major new problems in Baghdad or the southern oil producing regions, the report stated.

The AAA expects the high gas prices will have little effect on the number of people traveling, but they could result in some consumers cutting back on dining, shopping or other trip activities.

AAA expects the national average price of gas in July will range from $3.60 to $3.70 per gallon.

Despite the costs, the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce expects people will continue to travel in the area.

“People need to get away, they need to enjoy themselves,” said chamber President Mark Kilmer.

It’s not unusual for gas prices to rise around Memorial Day, said Kilmer. Even though people don’t like it, they’re used to the rising and falling of the prices, he said.

July is usually the second busiest travel month of the year, behind August. Last year, Americans drove 263.2 billion miles in July, the AAA report said.

Some of the prices for regular gas this morning in Gloversville included $3.82 at Cumberland Farms on Main Street, $3.79 at Country Farms on South Main Street and $3.83 at the Stewart’s on Fulton Street.