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Gillibrand: With gas prices rising, time to release oil reserves

Gas prices in the North Country and across the state have increased by more than 20 percent over the course of the last year.

That's according to numbers released Wednesday by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

The Democrat from New York says turmoil in the Middle East has led to a dramatic rise in the price of oil. So she's urging President Barack Obama to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Gillibrand says releasing oil from the national reserve would "immediately stabilize gasoline prices." She notes that gas prices last month were higher than any February on record.

"Gasoline prices are at an all time high this month and are up 71 cents per gallon from a year ago," Gillibrand said, noting that families are already struggling.

"The last thing we need is rising gas prices," she added.

A survey conducted by the Plattsburgh Press Republican shows that gas prices in northern New York have climbed 22 percent since September.

For example, the newspaper notes that gas at the Nice 'N' Easy in Tupper Lake cost $3.35 per gallon on Jan. 2. As of Sunday, that number had shot up to $3.65.

Gillibrand says gas prices have climbed some 50 cents per gallon in New York over the past 12 months.

According to numbers provided by Gillibrand's staff, the price of oil increased by more than $10 per barrel in just one month, costing Americans an additional $40 billion annually.

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