Over the upcoming Labor Day weekend, many will travel for a last minute vacation before the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
It is thought that many might stress over the rising prices of gas during the holiday weekend, but this year vacation goers are not letting the price of gas stand in the way of their final summer vacation.
AAA New York State Central Region General Manager Ed Welsh said 33 million people nationwide are expected to travel over Labor Day weekend which is a 2.9 percent increase over the 32.1 million who traveled for the holiday weekend last year.
“Labor Day is the third holiday of the summer that has had an increase of travel over the previous year and according to a AAA survey, 66 percent of people said their current financial situation would not impact travel plans,” said Welsh. Currently, the Utica Rome composite gas prices are selling for $3.95 a gallon which is a record high for this time of the year, said Welsh.
Although gas is hitting record high prices it does not mean that there is a gas shortage.
The three main reasons gas prices are rising are the cost of oil, high demand and refinery issues. “The price on crude oil is about $100 a barrel which is directly affecting the cost of gas, as well as the high demand for gas during the summer months,” said Welsh. Oil refineries around the country are also adding to the high cost of gas prices because many have closed or halted production. “Many of the refineries in the northeast have closed, some in California have been damaged due to wild fires, and many in the gulf have postponed production until after Tropical Storm Isaac has passed,” stated Welsh.
Welsh says once school is back in session and the summer season ends, the demand for gas will go down and gas prices will follow. “During the summer a more costly blend of gas is created but, once the weather becomes cooler the gas switches back to the winter blend which will lower gas prices 20 cents a gallon.”
The only thing that could cause gas prices to rise even more is if the geo-political issues in the Middle East continue to rise. “If the war in Syria continues and is amplified it could raise the price crude oil,” said Welsh.
Last fall gas prices ranged from $3.55-$3.83 a gallon. This year, Welsh said, he suspects prices will look like last year’s and be closer to $3.83 a gallon.
Lastly, Welsh encourages those who are traveling south for Labor Day weekend to keep an eye on the weather. “People should constantly be checking flight information online and prepare for a change of plans especially if traveling near Florida or the Gulf of Mexico which are in a high state of alert due to Tropical Storm Isaac.”
Page 2 of 2 - The effects that Isaac will have on oil prices will not be known until next week after the storm passes. Welsh said, “It will be interesting to see if and how the storm could effect the traditional gas market after Labor Day Weekend.”