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Rising oil prices push gas prices even higher

The national average price at the pump rose two cents a gallon this week

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Photo (c) aydinmutlu - Getty Images
Motorists enjoying their new freedom from the coronavirus (COVID-19) are hitting the road in record numbers, increasing fuel demand and pushing up prices.

The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey shows the national average price of regular gas is $3.14 a gallon, the highest since 2018. It’s two cents higher than last Friday. The average price of premium gas is $3.76 a gallon, also two cents higher than a week ago. The average price of diesel fuel is $3.25 a gallon, a penny higher than last week.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports a big increase in gasoline demand in the last week, so it may be surprising that prices haven’t risen faster than they have. But while the national average is rising slowly, it’s surging higher in many Western states.

In the last week, the statewide average gained 11 cents a gallon in Utah. It rose 10 cents in Alaska and Idaho, six cents in Washington, five cents in Oregon, and four cents in Oklahoma.

“Robust gasoline demand and more expensive crude oil prices are pushing gas prices higher,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA’s spokesperson. “We had hoped that global crude production increases would bring some relief at the pump this month, but weekend OPEC negotiations fell through with no agreement reached. As a result, crude prices are set to surge to a seven-year-high.”

The national average price of gasoline has risen by about 40% since the start of the year. On January 1, the average price of regular gas was $2.25 a gallon.

The states with the most expensive gas

These states currently have the highest prices for regular gas, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Survey:

  • California ($4.31)

  • Hawaii ($4.03)

  • Washington ($3.82) 

  • Nevada ($3.78)

  • Oregon ($3.67) 

  • Utah ($3.67) 

  • Alaska ($3.61) 

  • Idaho ($3.54) 

  • Colorado ($3.47)

  • Illinois ($3.35)

The states with the cheapest regular gas

The survey found these states currently have the lowest prices for regular gas:

  • Mississippi ($2.76)

  • Louisiana ($2.78)

  • Texas ($2.81) 

  • Missouri ($2.82)

  • Alabama ($2.82)

  • Arkansas ($2.84)

  • South Carolina ($2.85)

  • Oklahoma ($2.87) 

  • Kansas ($2.87)

  • Tennessee ($2.89)

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