While the price of gas continues to fall nationwide, the local price remains stubbornly close to four bucks a gallon.
The AAA says the national average is now $3.52 a gallon -- while the local price is $3.96.
So Western New Yorkers pay 44 cents more for every gallon than the national average.
There's a county in South Carolina, Edgefield County, where Gas Buddy lists the average price is $2.96.
So drivers here are paying more than a dollar more -- per gallon.
The price in Buffalo is higher than it is in New York City. In fact, the only states where you can find a higher average price are California, Alaska and Hawaii.
For some time, the price at the pump in Western New York ran about 12 cents more than the national average. But now and then, the price starts creeping up.
In recent years, the local price stays well above the national average until it starts attracting notice. Once members of Congress start asking for an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, then the price quietly moves down again.
For example, the FTC probe into higher gas prices in the fall of 2008 (urged by Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins) found anomalies, but could not fault anyone for the price disparities, except for this blanket explanation:
"... examination by FTC economists of weekly retail and wholesale prices changes between 2005 and 2008 showed that Buffalo retail prices tended to react more slowly to wholesale price reductions than Albany retail prices."
Higgins said afterward: "While we might not have proof of illegal activity or a clear definition of why our prices were so high, what is clear is retailers were acting in bad faith through some type of implicit collusion and retailers and consumers should know that we were watching them and are watching now and will continue to work to make sure this doesn’t happen again."