Rhode Islanders may not see lower gas prices until Christmas-time, AAA says

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Gas prices are increasing in Rhode Island, as oil prices reach yearly highs around the nation.

This week’s average gas price according is 21 cents higher than this time last year, according to AAA Northeast.

Victoria Tengbeh is working as an Uber driver and said the current average price for a gallon of gas, at $3.78, is hurting her income.

“Definitely I’m making less money, because the more you drive the more gas you use up and sometimes it’s like 5 dollars a gallon, so it’s really rough,” Tengbeh explained.

Tengbeh says it costs her anywhere from $70 to $80 to fill up her tank.

“I’ve been doing this for a year now and I’m barely making the money that I spend on gas,” she continued.

Rhode Island commuter Adriana Hernandez said she’s rarely filling up her car tank these days.

“I never fill up my tank full because I usually try to save money on that but then the next time I go it’s a little more expensive so I’m losing money anyways,” Hernandez said.

Mark Schieldrop, a spokesperson for AAA Northeast, said gas prices have gone up a good amount in the past week alone. He said gas is up five cents week over week.

This comes after Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries announced they would be cutting back oil production.

“That’s putting pressure on oil prices and the more expensive oil is, the more expensive gas is,” Schieldrop explained.

Plus, two big oil refineries that supply the Northeast, one in Pennsylvania and the other in Canada, are going offline for maintenance.

“They’re going to stay offline until mid November, and it’s a little weird to have big refineries like that down at the same time,” Schieldrop continued.

Schieldrop further stated that normally around this time of year, gas prices go down, but that’s not the case this year. He remained optimistic however, saying there is no major reason for Rhode Islanders to worry just yet.

“Once those two refineries come back online in November we may start to really settle down a bit and we may find gasoline to be a bit cheaper around Christmas time compared to now,” he explained.

Rhode Islanders who spoke with ABC 6 News on Monday said they’re looking forward to that price drop.

“Because I’ll be saving a lot more money, it needs to happen fast,” Tengbeh concluded.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island