The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 7, 2014

Analysts: Local gasoline prices will peak soon

SUNBURY — Pennsylvania’s gasoline prices are rising, putting the Keystone state in the top ten most expensive states for a gallon of regular gasoline.

But relief is near, according to industry experts.

“We’re very close to seeing the peak price, at least for the short term,” said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with “By Memorial Day prices will be lower.”

At an average of $3.81 per gallon, Pennsylvania is ranked 10 in the nation for gas prices, behind only Hawaii and California, where gas is more than $4.20 per gallon according to AAA, Connecticut, Alaska, New York, Washington state, Washington D.C., Oregon and Illinois.

The national average at $3.64, according to

Pennsylvania is also in the top ten largest monthly increases as of May 5, with gas riding more than 18 cents per gallon, according to AAA. Only seven states in the nation saw larger increases.

But prices are currently at or near their peak for the year, DeHaan said.

“Usually prices peak sometime in spring,” DeHaan said. “The reason for that is refineries undergo maintenance during this time of year, which they do so that this summer they can produce as much as possible.”

The transition to a cleaner-burning summer blend also leads to higher prices, DeHaan said.

The upcoming peak and decline is good news for local companies, who are constantly working to lower fuel consumption. Weis Markets’ vehicles travel 17 million miles per year and therefore, the company is always working to converse fuel, said spokesman Dennis Curtin.

“We are and have been strongly focused on conserving fuel,” Curtin said. “We have programs that help our drivers drive more efficiently. We also have a successful idling program that reduces idling times.”

Watsontown Trucking Company, which has headquarters in Milton, spends about $1.4 million on fuel per month, said President Steve Patton. The company’s truck fleet has more than 330 vehicles and closely monitors idling time and engine performance.

The company also has a price adjustment built into its contract to accommodate increases in diesel fuels costs, Patton said.

However, the most effective measure the company has taken involves software that can analyze truck routes and select the best places to fuel up, Patton said.

“(The program) takes a driver’s route and pre-plans his fuel purchases in order to maximize better fuel prices in certain places,” he said. “That’s been the best way to cut fuel costs.”

The logistics company has also upgraded its fleet to include a more aerodynamic design, Patton said.

Valley drivers are also experiencing pain at the pump, according to posts on the Daily Item’s Facebook page. Several people reported filling up in certain locations to get cheaper gas.

“I have a habit of filling my tank in Harrisburg where it is 13 cents cheaper than the strip,” said Valerie Ditty Carpenter.

Others reported changing their driving habits to avoid paying even more money for gas.

“I really try and not to drive, but it’s hard when you have kids, and you need a job,” Rachel Hendricks Kauffman said. “But when I do drive, I try and do everything at once. Maybe it doesn’t help, but at this point every penny counts.”

Text Only
  • Tawny Dog owners not surprised to learn pooches get jealous

    DANVILLE — Dogs are often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows that pooches can get a little green over how much time you spend with other canines.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lottery Big lottery payouts pay off for seniors

    HARRISBURG — State lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.