PLATTSBURGH — It has been a hard year at the gas pumps, especially if those pumps are in New York state.
Gas prices have gone down approximately 20 cents per gallon since November, but according to GasBuddy.com, the overall trend has been more pain at the pump this year than ever before.
"Even with the seasonal price decline, 2012 is going to yield the highest average price ever paid — January through December — at $3.63 per gallon," GasBuddy.com reported in a recent press release.
Many motorists, however, have been taking the high prices in stride. New York City resident Iota Fudumia, who was visiting Plattsburgh for the holidays, summed it up with a shrug.
"If you need a tank of gas, what are you going to do?"
He was filling up his car at the Sunoco station next to Viking Ski Shop on Route 3 in Plattsburgh.
That sentiment was echoed by Frank Segger of Lake Placid, who was gassing up at the same station. He sees global demand as the reason for the higher prices. His daily routine, he said, has not changed due to the year's high gas prices.
"Nothing has really changed, because we have to do what we have to do, you know? But of course, it will be nicer when it (prices are) lower."
RARELY DRIVES TRUCK
The GasBuddy.com survey reported that 39 percent of respondents said they are spending less than previous years, or not at all, because of gas prices, while 51 percent said they are spending about the same and 9 percent said they were spending more. The survey was based on 17,000 responses.
According to NewYorkStateGasPrices.com, a website operated by GasBuddy.com, the average price for regular unleaded in New York is currently $3.70 per gallon, while the national average for the same gallon is $3.24. A sampling of local gas prices throughout the North Country shows an average price of $3.76 per gallon.
Currently, only Hawaii has higher average gas prices than New York.
Dave Webb of Lake Placid, who was in Plattsburgh picking up some last minute Christmas presents in his Ford F-250, tries to drive his wife's car whenever possible to save gas.
"I don't drive my truck. Now, Plattsburgh is the farthest I'll take it," he said. "Before, when gas prices weren't as expensive, maybe I'd take it to Albany.
(The gas price) definitely makes those decisions for you."
The Press-Republican conducts an occasional gas price survey.
Here is a sampling of the price of regular unleaded gas around the area as of Dec 23. The first number is from Nov 4.