BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Gasoline prices in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls region continue to be the highest in the state, with a gallon of regular costing an average of almost $3 a gallon or nearly 20 cents above the statewide average for regular unleaded.

Wally Smith, of AAA of Western and Central New York, tells The Buffalo News his organization has failed to get a clear explanation why from retailers, wholesalers and trade organizations. The price of $2.99 was 55 cents above the national average of $2.44 on Sunday.

Industry officials cite poor access to refineries, cost of transport, state taxes, county sales taxes and the role of direct marketers.

Smith said the region peaked at $4.27 a gallon in July, when New York City and Long Island set higher record prices.

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