AAA: Gas Prices Rise to Four-Month High
BURNSVILLE, Minn. --- Gasoline prices are at their highest levels since last Nov. 9, with the current nationwide average price of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline at $2.363 per gallon. This is more than 6 cents higher than last month and more than 33 cents higher than a year ago, the Auto Club reported."The jump in price occurred after the cost of both crude oil and wholesale gasoline moved sharply higher at the end of last week," said Gail Weinholzer, AAA Minnesota/Iowa spokesperson. "Crude oil briefly traded above $63 per barrel and whole sale gasoline was up as much as 15 cents per gallon."The price picture for gasoline will clarify in the next few days once it is known whether OPEC will keep oil production unchanged and if Iran will be referred to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions because of its nuclear ambitions. Energy analysts are divided on what actions OPEC nations might take at tomorrow's meeting. However, analysts do have some optimism that Russia will reach a deal with Iran, whereby they agree not to engage in the processing of uranium on a scale needed for nuclear weapons for at least seven years.In addition, pump prices are rising faster in the Midwest than in other regions, AAA said. That's partly attributable to the rising cost of ethanol, which is heavily blended with gasoline in this area, and because refineries serving the Midwest are beginning their seasonal switchover to producing summer grade fuels.