Rising gas prices hit hard

Graphic by Nick Graziano | Prices from AAA

Consumers nationwide are feeling the pain of higher gas prices, and the truth is that the world market price of oil has even hit Oswego.

In just a month, according to Gasbuddy.com, the average retail price chart for Oswego showed the regular gas price increased from $3.96 to $4.11.

This increase has affected commuters on and off campus. Economics professor Bill Goffe has been commuting to and from Baldwinsville to Oswego since 2000.

“I spend a couple hundred a month.” Goffe said, “I don’t like it, but I can’t complain.”

Similarly, many have said nothing can be done about the rising prices. Goffe explained it is not an easy process to change because oil is a part of such a larger market. Knock Nevis, the world’s largest ship at 458.4 meters long and 68.9 meters wide, carries about 4 million barrels of oil, and as a whole we use about 80 million a day, Goffe said.

With numbers like these, consumers can do nothing but complain. The New York state average price of gas a gallon is $4.12 and Oswego itself is trailing right behind with an average of $4.11. One of the highest charging gas stations for regular gas is $4.11, at Fastrac, located closest to the college.

Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst and former AAA member, currently working as a Gasbuddy.com representative, has called the gas price epidemic “inevitable.” According to Laskoski, every year gas prices go up in the springtime because of political and global events, and in this case the U.S.’s current difficulties in the Middle East with Iran and Israel.

“The federal law calls it a summer-blend, beginning in the months of February, March and April and officially from May 1 to Sept. 30,” Laskoski said. “This is when the refineries across the world flush out the oil from the winter months of Oct. 1 to April 30, and the machines go under a lot of stress – including the plant near Oswego [State].”

To maintain these 150 gas refineries across the world, the maintenance of said machines causes the increase in gas.

Crude oil, the most prominent type of oil used by oil refineries, especially that of Oswego, is a global commodity. Their price changes constantly in positive and negative directions, according to Laskoski. Several cities and towns get their oil and gas from designated refineries that purchase Brent Crude oil, which has recently gone up to $125 per barrel; many of these refineries do not have the money to purchase the oil needed because of our current economic state. Two of the three refineries in Pennsylvania, where Oswego gets its refined oil from, have closed down in the last six months. The last Sunoco refinery in Philadelphia is looking to close and leave the business because like many others it cannot afford it, which could lead to increased prices in Oswego, according to Laskoski’s research team.

In just four years, from December of 2008 the nation has gone up from $1.61 per gallon to $3.25 in 2011, according to Laskoski, and has predicted a rise to $4.18.

Students are trying to make the best of a bad situation as they commute on and off campus. Sophomore, Erin Murtha, has chosen not to drive in Oswego, due to not having a job or being able to pay for the gas in Oswego and uses the opportunity to learn how to commute on her own

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” Murtha said. “You have to just fill up when you need it and be cautious of how you drive and just hope that gas doesn’t reach $10.”