An Enormous Variance In Gas Prices

This morning we left Vassar and got gas in Poughkeepsie, New York, filling our tank at a downtown station.  Then we drove back to Ohio and, at some exit just east of Akron, topped off the tank again.  The same grade gasoline in Ohio was about 50 cents cheaper than the gas in New York — 50 cents!

I recognize that there can be regional differences in prices for commodities.  In the case of gasoline, the price at the pump can depend on supply routes, competition, proximity to refineries, and a number of other factors.  But half a dollar a gallon seems like a pretty extreme variance to me.

Although I’m sure the difference in per-gallon cost is caused by the various economic factors that affect price, it still made me feel sorry for the people of Poughkeepsie.  They’re living in a struggling area anyway, and now they have to pay far more for fuel than those of us who are lucky enough to live in a state where gasoline is significantly cheaper.  How is Poughkeepsie supposed to get back on its feet if companies that might be considering relocating there have to face such dramatically higher gas costs?