Gas Prices Move Upward Nationally But See Major Regional Differences
The chart above details gas price differences on a regional basis between July 14 and August 13, 2012.
WASHINGTON – AAA reported that gas prices are still moving higher, with the national average for self-serve gasoline at $3.70, which is up 8 cents from the previous week and up 31 cents from a month ago. Although the national average is rising, it’s still 24 cents below the annual peak price for 2012, which was $3.94 on April 5. It’s also 41 cents below the all-time high of $4.11 on July 17, 2008.
The prices in 38 states are at least 20 cents higher than at the same time last month, though prices in four states fell. In Alaska, retail gasoline prices are down 14.6 cents, in Colorado down 5.8 cents, in Hawaii down 4 cents, and in Utah down 3.8 cents.
Affecting prices in the U.S. includes the restarting of the Enbridge pipeline and a fire on Monday, August 13, at a Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif. The Chevron refinery supplies roughly 15% of California’s gasoline demand, and the possibility of the facility being offline for a period of time pushed prices higher on the West Coast. Prices in California are up 23 cents, in Washington are up 17.3 cents, and in Oregon up 19.3 cents between August 6 and 13. In the Midwest, though, the restarting of the Enbridge refinery has caused prices in Ohio to drop 11.6 cents during that period.
National pump prices are being pushed higher by higher oil prices, according to AAA, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil settling above $90 per day every day for a week. Seasonal demand and mixed economic news were other factors affecting oil prices. One geopolitical factor affecting oil prices includes ongoing tensions with Iran, AAA stated.