Gasoline prices jumped 5 cents to $2.71 ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
 - Photo by Vince Taroc.

Gasoline prices jumped 5 cents to $2.71 ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.

Photo by Vince Taroc.

Gasoline prices have begun to increase heading toward the Fourth of July holiday, as the national price increased 5 cents to $2.71 for the week ending July 1, according to AAA.

Gasoline remains 11 cents lower than last month and 14 cents cheaper than a year ago.

"For the more than 41 million motorists hitting the road this week to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, they will find gas prices cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, but more expensive than they've been paying the last few weeks," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. "It's typical to see increases at the pump ahead of the holiday, but we may see prices continue to jump throughout the month due to refinery interruptions on the East Coast, increasing demand and fluctuations in crude oil price."

The factors contributing to higher prices include higher crude oil prices, lower supply of gasoline stocks, peak summer demand, the pending closure of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, and a looming decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to extend a production reduction agreement.

States with the largest weekly price increases include North Carolina (13 cents), South Carolina (13 cents), Indiana (11 cents), Delaware (11 cents), Florida (11 cents), Georgia (10 cents), Ohio (9 cents), Maryland (9 cents), Mississippi (8 cents), and Michigan (8 cents).

States with the least expensive gasoline include Mississippi ($2.32), Alabama ($2.33), Louisiana ($2.34), Arkansas ($2.35), South Carolina ($2.37), Tennessee ($2.41), Missouri ($2.41), Texas ($2.42), Oklahoma ($2.42), and Virginia ($2.45).

Meanwhile, the average price of a gallon of diesel fell one-tenths of a cent to $3.042, which was 19.4 cents lower than a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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