New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) today announced that the State Assembly has given final passage to legislation he prime-sponsored strengthening New York State’s gasoline zone pricing law, as recommended by State Attorney General (AG)Eric Schneiderman. The vote was 142-1. The bill awaits action in the State Senate, which isn’t scheduled to return to Albany until December. The Senate sponsor is State Senator James Alesi of Rochester.
In Thiele’s most recent gasoline survey for the South Fork, issued on June 27, 2012, South Fork prices are 31 cents higher than the State and Long Island average, the greatest differential since Thiele started the survey in May 2011. Thiele stated, “There is no legitimate explanation for such a wide differential in process. This is price fixing: pure and simple.”
The Automobile Association of America (AAA) provides for a regional survey on New York State gasoline prices. However, there is no survey solely for the South Fork. Thiele’s survey also includes prices in western Southampton along Montauk Highway. There may be prices that are higher or lower in the region away from Montauk Highway, but the survey reflects the price posted at most stations on our region’s main arterials.
Thiele stated, “The average South Fork price between East Hampton and Southampton is now $3.95. The average for western Southampton is also $3.79 and the average price for Amagansett and Montauk is $4.19. Prices have decreased over the past few months. However, prices on the South Fork did not decline as much as they have in other parts of Long Island and New York State. Thiele added that prices on the North Fork have also decreased. A gallon of gas on the North Fork is now about $ 3.55.
Thiele called for Senate action on legislation to strengthen New York’s law on zone pricing of gasoline as recommended by the State Attorney General. He added, “The Assembly has overwhelmingly passed my bill which was recommended by the State Attorney General. We now need the Senate to follow suit. While the current zone pricing legislation has generally pressured wholesale gasoline suppliers to minimize price differences based solely on geography, it is clear they can’t contain their greed during high-demand periods. The Senate needs to heed the recommendation of the State Attorney General and pass A.7775-B/S.4170-B so that the AG has the tools necessary to fully enforce this law.”