Gasoline prices spike

DOVER — Mike Maust stood next to a Wawa gasoline pump on Monday afternoon and wasn’t about to look for a better price somewhere else.

Rising fuel prices don’t generally discriminate between stations, so efforts to significantly squeeze more out of a gallon are likely futile. The Dover resident doesn’t search for the most economical sign before putting nozzle into tank.

“I won’t go looking for a couple cents,” he said. “I notice (the prices) but it won’t affect any travel for me.”

AAA-Mid Atlantic said prices have stabilized since rising a dime or more per gallon since a June 21 fire closed the nearby Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery.

Middletown’s Karen Howard apparently hadn’t yet heard about the blaze and found the upward price shift unsettling.

“It definitely matters,” she said. “I’m looking at 2.55 today compared to 2.40 a week ago and no reason has been given.”
Ms. Howard’s travel plans won’t change significantly.
“No,” she said about pulling back from behind the wheel.

“I’m going to go where I need to go but may not make as many other trips.”
Mike Maust stood next to a Wawa gas pump on Monday afternoon and wasn’t considering a search for better prices elsewhere.

“I won’t go looking for a couple cents,” he said. “I notice (the prices) but they won’t affect any travel for me at all.”
In the midst of fueling his Volkswagen on the drive home to New Jersey,

Robert Price wasn’t stressing about it. He needed 93 octane and was fine with it.
“Just like a lot of other things in life you gotta do what you gotta do,” he said. “This is just one of those things you gotta do.”

With PES – the largest refinery on the East Coast – closing in late June, the immediate ripple effect was noticeable. That’s not so much anymore as the market stabilized around the Fourth of July weekend. That could be tenuous, AAA Mid-Atlantic cautioned.

“The closure of the PES refinery, the largest on the East Coast, has had an impact on gas prices in and around the region, though in recent days the increases have leveled off and even declined in some areas,” said Ken Grant, manager of Public and Government Affairs.

“However, it is still too early to say if prices could continue to rise and/or for how long.

“The peak summer driving season is upon us and refinery issues, coupled with increased crude oil prices and geopolitical tensions could keep prices modestly higher throughout the region.”

Also, he added, “The full impact of the PES refinery closure will depend on market reaction, gasoline demand and supply, as well as crude oil prices.
“Summer brings higher demand for gasoline due to peak driving season.

This coupled with increased transportation costs (for getting gasoline to stations) will be the biggest factors driving gas prices in the Northeast and potentially neighboring regions.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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