NEW YORK — Drivers in the New York area may soon get relief from long lines and higher gas prices.
A week after Superstorm Sandy hit the area, the price of gasoline has increased 10 cents per gallon or more in the New York City area and in hard-hit parts of New Jersey. Images of long lines of cars and interviews with frustrated drivers have become staples in news coverage of the storm's aftermath.
But across the U.S., the price of gasoline is falling — fast. It fell 7 cents this past week and has declined almost 9 percent in a month to $3.47 per gallon.
The national average should be only slightly higher this Election Day than a year ago. That's due to a dramatic drop in the price of wholesale gasoline and low demand from cautious consumers.
Prices should fall further in the coming weeks, according to Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. Even people in the Northeast now standing or sitting in long lines for gas should catch a break, he believes, as the “hysteria” in New York and New Jersey subsides.
Kloza predicts that within a week, many commuters across the country will be paying less to fill up than at this point last year. The national average now is about 6 cents higher than a year earlier.
Sunday, the Energy Department estimated 27 percent of all gas stations across New York City, Long Island and New Jersey did not have gas to sell.