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Fuel Costs Rev Up

Biz BriefsIt didn’t take very long for gas prices to start climbing again. According to the Fuel Gauge survey from the American Automobile Association, the price for a gallon of regular gas on average topped the $3 mark on July 10. That’s nearly 80¢ higher than a year ago and 50¢ more than just three months ago, according to the AAA.

The Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey, based in Springfield, attributes the most recent price hike to fuel manufacturers substituting ethanol for methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to help reduce fuel emissions. Ethanol, say gas suppliers, costs more than MTBE.

Oddly enough, gas prices on average are actually higher in South Jersey than in the northern region of the state. In Atlantic and Cape May counties, regular gas averaged $3.06 a gallon last week, compared with $2.99 in northern Bergen and Passaic counties. Experts attribute the price disparity to the large number of unbranded stations in the south that buy their gas on the more-expensive spot market.

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