BEMUS POINT – Growing gasoline prices has many across our region digging deeper into their wallets, however, tourism officials in Chautauqua County say there is a silver lining.
With gas prices on the rise Chautauqua County officials joined Congressman Tom Reed to address some of their concerns on Thursday at a Mobile Station in Bemus Point. However, it is not all bad news, especially for the local tourism industry.
“If there is a silver line for tourism businesses in the area, it’s that during the recession and times of higher cost, related travel to places like Chautauqua County do well comparatively and can even do better,” explained Andrew Nixon, President and CEO, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau.
Nevertheless, many are looking for relief, Congress Tom Reed says they should look for a fix at home, not abroad.
“What we need is a United States energy policy that recognizes this a long-term solution when it comes from transitioning from fossil fuel to those alternatives renewables, but in the meantime do no harm when it come to the hard-working taxpayers of America,” said Reed.
Chautauqua County Legislator Elisabeth Rankin, who represents Jamestown, agrees.
“We know we got the demand and then when you look at a dwindling supply due to the keystone pipe, due to restrictions on drilling, we are not able to get what we want,” continued Rankin. “You throw in some high taxes, you stir in a little inflation, you look at the fact that we’re not as self-sufficient as we’d like to be as a country, and that we’re too dependent on foreign oil we’ve got pain at the pump.”
Some have argued that suspending the gas tax would help provide an immediate fix, but Congressman Reed doesn’t think so.
“We’re taking eighteen cents on the gallon as opposed to using the solution I think is best that can move this down to two dollars a gallon,” Reed said.
Balancing clean energy, and keeping a stable economy, is not an easy task, according to Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel.
“We want to go to green energy, we want to move to green energy relatively faster than we want to take our mask off during COVID, it does not equate to success,” explained Wendel.
While we were at the Bemus Point station for Reed’s press conference, the price for a gallon of regular unleaded increased four cents from $4.35 to $4.39. According to AAA, the average gas price as of Friday morning in Chautauqua County is $4.33 a gallon.