TRENTON – The surge in gas prices is higher in New Jersey this month than nationally, despite the state’s gas tax cut by more than 8 cents.
According to AAA data, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in New Jersey jumped 19.7 cents in three weeks, from $ 3.226 on September 30 to $ 3.423 on Thursday. The national average at that time was up 18 cents to $ 3.369.
âThe situation, unfortunately, is not good,â said Tracy Noble, public relations manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It’s definitely starting to hit people in their pockets.”
âCrude oil drives up the price of gas. This is what makes the jump. Yesterday, the price of crude oil closed at $ 83.87 per barrel. These are numbers we haven’t seen since 2014, âNoble said. âToday it edged down to close at around $ 82.50 a barrel. So, less than yesterday, which is good news. But this will not cause any decrease at the pump.
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New Jersey’s gasoline tax was reduced by 8.3 cents per gallon on October 1. This delayed the initial impact of rising crude oil prices in the state, with the cost per gallon between September 30 and October 8 up 7.1 cents nationally but only 3.3 cents in the state.
For one day on October 8, the average price in New Jersey was just below the national average, a rarity.
The price hikes followed mostly in the second week of October, up 4.6 cents nationally and 5.4 cents in New Jersey. But in the past six days, the price has jumped 12 cents a gallon in New Jersey from 7.2 cents nationally.
Theoretically, if it weren’t for the 8.3-cent tax cut, the increase this month would be one cent per gallon more in New Jersey than nationally.
âUnfortunately, the gasoline tax, for which we expect relief with this 8-cent drop, came at a time when the price of crude oil started this upward trend and has remained so,â he said. declared Noble.
âWe also have to keep in mind that this is usually the time of year when we see prices going down anyway due to the switch to blended fuels for the winter,â she said. “And that didn’t happen this year just because of the price of crude oil.”
Noble doesn’t expect the trend to reverse anytime soon.
âNow that we are entering the winter months and people are starting to think about fuel oil, it’s going to keep this crude oil price high,â Noble said. “So there is no short term relief.”
Michael Symons is the State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].
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