Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) is touting the recent announcement that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will review Western New York’s gas prices as a major victory for our local drivers. Hawley has previously called on the attorney general’s office to investigate the pricing disparity among localities within his district and is pleased to see his constituents’ needs being addressed at the highest levels of state government. “Despite a decrease in the price of oil worldwide, gas prices in Western New York continue to be higher than the national average and have ballooned more than a dollar per gallon in the last year alone,” said Hawley. “Reviewing industry practices will allow Western New Yorkers to see exactly where their money is going and will permit the state to take action if it is found that wrongdoing is leading to staggering prices. I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman for heeding the call of our overburdened drivers and reviewing this issue in a timely and transparent fashion.” Hawley has spent two years working on this issue with both the current attorney general and the former officeholder, Governor Andrew Cuomo. According to AAA, gas prices have risen over the last year in Western New York by 38 percent. Levies are particularly high in the counties of Genesee and Orleans, as well as the Town of Batavia, where Hawley cited prices costing as much as $0.35 cents per gallon more than other areas of the state. It is this county-by-county discrepancy that warrants further investigation into pricing. A copy of letter sent to Attorney General Schneiderman this past January on the issue of gas prices in western New York is below.
January 26, 2011 Hon. Eric T. Schneiderman
NYS Attorney General
Albany, NY 12224-0341 Dear Attorney General Schneiderman: I am writing this letter regarding the continued level of frustration felt by my constituents’ with the drastic fluctuation in the price of gas from county to county. I have written several letters within the past two years on this issue to no avail. The district I represent consists of all of Orleans County, most of Genesee County, the Town of Somerset in Niagara County and the Towns of Clarkson, Parma and Hamlin in Monroe County. In most instances Genesee and Orleans County gas prices range much higher than the surrounding counties. I have seen first hand the pricing of gas stations in Batavia costing $.30-$.35 more per gallon than the various stations located in many areas across the state. I know there are many variables which determine the price per gallon of gas but it seems to me that the price should not significantly differ from county to county. I have been told by the previous Attorney General office that the wide range is the result of zone pricing. I would appreciate your timely review and investigation of this matter as well as any action that may be taken to bring this issue to a conclusion. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions (585)589-5780. Sincerely,
Member of Assembly