Gasoline prices across the Southern Tier have been rising steadily since November and an industry analyst expects more increases in the weeks ahead.

The average price of regular gas in the Binghamton area has gone up by more than 50 cents a gallon in less than three months. Pump prices have jumped by 30 cents a gallon in the last six weeks alone.

Patrick De Haan of said "it's been a pretty remarkable surge."

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program Monday, De Haan said "a healthy dose of optimism" about the Covid-19 vaccines is helping drive price increases as world demand for petroleum rises.

De Haan said "Americans are filling up at breakneck pace" compared to last year. He noted oil production has decreased since the global supply glut that existed several months ago.

Now, production is lagging at the same time demand is increasing, leading to higher gas prices.

De Haan said if the optimistic predictions about vaccinations come true, there's a potential for the national average gasoline price to rise to three dollars a gallon. He said the "biggest question" is whether global oil production will increase to meet the higher demand if it materializes during the summer.

De Haan also said "short-term energy prices aren't being influenced by who's in the White House."

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