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Scene at the Pump: The Climb to $4 a Gallon

Prices in East Hampton and Portland range from $3.919 a gallon to $3.989.

 

Thinking about driving to the New York City area? Once you hit Bridgeport, if not sooner, expect to pay $4.099 for a gallon of regular unleaded. Headed to Boston? It will be cheaper. The average price for a gallon of unleaded there is $3.771.

In the East Hampton-Portland area on Tuesday afternoon, gas prices continued their climb toward $4 for a gallon of unleaded. Prices here ranged from $3.919  at the Cobalt Valero on Route 66 to $3.989 at the Valero on Route 17 in Portland. That's cash. If you're using your credit or debit card, you might already be paying more than $4 a gallon. Statewide, the average price is $4.022 according to AAA's Daily Fuel Guage Report, the highest in New England. Nationally the average price was $3.846, with Wyoming having the lowest average price (3.442) and California the highest ($434.8) within the 48 contiguous states and D.C.

Of course, we've seen this before. Just last year, in fact. In early May 2011, the average for regular unleaded was $4.269 a gallon in Connecticut. Locally, prices were between $415.9 and $4.249. Then prices dropped almost as quickly as they had risen.

Should we expect a similar drop again? If not, can the government do anything to help?

There is a proposal before state legislators that would put a one-year cap on the gross receipts tax, but for any real relief to be realized, the wholesale cost of gas would have to rise to $4 a gallon. The wholesale price was $3.18 on Monday.

There also is the possibility President Barack Obama could tap into the the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. How much that might help depends on who you listen to, but most reports suggest there would at least be some short-term relief.

As of Tuesday afternoon, here is the rundown of local prices for regular unleaded and diesel.

East Hampton

Citgo Food Bag, Route 66 - $3.939 (regular unleaded); $4.269 (diesel)

Citgo Food Bag, Route 16 - $3.939 / $4.269

Cobalt Valero - $3.919 / no diesel (same price cash or credit)

Portland

Citgo, Route 66 - $3.979 / $4.239

Mobil, Route 66 - $3.949 / $4.229 (same price cash or credit)

Valero, Route 17 - $3.98 / $4.299

Cumberland Farms, Route 66 - $3.979 / no diesel (same price cash or credit)

Hess, Route 66 - $3.959 / no diesel

Gulf, Route 66 - $3.959 / $4.299

Sunoco, Route 66 - $3.969 / no diesel (same price cash or credit)

 

Note: Since our last report on , the price for a gallon of regular unleaded increased at Cobalt Valero by 2 cents; Citgo Food Bag in East Hampton by 10 cents; Route 66 Citgo by 6 cents; Mobil by 5 cents; Route 17 Valero by 13 cents; Cumberland Farms by 6 cents; Hess by 11 cents; Gulf by 6 cents; and Sunoco by 7 cents.

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