NEW CANAAN, Conn. — As gas prices continue to rise in Connecticut and in New Canaan, so does the frustration level of area drivers.
Gas prices in the state have always risen faster than the nation's average, and as of last week, Connecticut had the most expensive prices in the continental United States, AAA spokeswoman Fran Mayko said.
Currently, the national average for regular is $3.53 per gallon, which is 27 cents lower than Connecticut's average of $3.80, according Connecticut Gas Prices. Tuesday's state average was up about 8 cents from a week earlier and 16 cents from a month ago, Mayko said.
In New Canaan, drivers at local gas stations grumbled about the price increases but said they were not surprised.
"There's nothing you can do about it," said one male resident at the Gulf station at South Avenue and Cherry Street who declined to give his name. "I guess I don't follow it enough."
A female driver at the same station, who would only say her name was Leslie M., looked up at the $3.95 price for regular and shook her head.
"This town is very expensive for everything," she said. "I like to support local businesses, but it can be a little tough." Leslie's daughter attends college in Virginia, she said, where gas was less than $3.20 per gallon for regular.
Across Cherry Street at the ExxonMobil station, regular gas was selling for $4.19 a gallon.
"I sometimes wonder if the high prices will affect the election," Leslie said. "But I don't think they will."
Reasons for the spike include tension in the Middle East, the European economic crisis and rising prices for crude oil.
"Right now, it's $80 a barrel for crude oil, and gas prices could possibly be higher around Labor Day," Mayko said.
Despite the rising prices, Mayko said Connecticut's averages are 22 cents cheaper than a year ago this time.
"We're just coming off a steady decrease from the beginning of the summer, which is unusual," she said. "But whatever goes up must come down."