Great Lakes states such as Ohio and Indiana saw the highest weekly increases in the price of gasoline, as the national price increased 3 cents to $2.91. Prices increased in 43 states with the national price average increasing 6 cents from a month ago and 41 cents from a year ago, according to AAA.
Ohio saw prices increase 9 cents from a week ago, while Kentucky and Indiana saw increases of 8 cents and 7 cents respectively. Regional refinery maintenance and expensive crude oil prices have contributed to the increase. In the region, motorists are paying 5 to 13 cents more than in September.
In the nation at large, crude oil has moved higher in price as a result of concerns about global supply and goepolitical tensions, including pending sanctions with Iran and Venezuela's unstable economy. Iran was the world's fifth largest oil producer in 2016, averaging almost 4 million barrels per day. That same year, Venezuela's 2.27 million barrel-per-day average ranked it at 11 on the list, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
"The September switch-over to winter-blend gasoline ushered in cheaper gas prices compared to the summer, but that drop was short lived," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. "Crude oil accounts for half of the retail pump price and crude is selling at some of the highest price points in four years. That means fall and year-end prices are going to be unseasonably expensive."
Fall gas prices have not been this expensive since 2014, when motorists were paying an average of more than $3 per gallon. Crude oil was selling well above $70 per barrel. This year, gasoline stocks increased 8 million barrels for the week in the U.S. Crude oil is selling at $25 per barrel more than last year and reaching $75 per barrel last week.
Other states that moved higher for the week ending Oct. 8 include Louisiana (up 7 cents), California (up 7 cents), Virginia (up 6 cents), New Jersey (up 6 cents), Georgia (up 6 cents), Washington, D.C. (up 6 cents), and Alabama (up 5 cents).
States with the highest gasoline prices include Hawaii ($3.84), California ($3.80), Washington ($3.44), Alaska ($3.33), Oregon ($3.29), Nevada ($3.27), Idaho ($3.13), Pennsylvania ($3.08), Washington, D.C. ($3.05), and Connecticut ($3.03).
Meanwhile, the average price for a gallon of diesel increased 7.2 cents to $3.385, which is 60.9 cents higher than a year ago.