WASHINGTON, D.C. --- A new Energy Department report forecasts that the national average retail price of regular gasoline will rise above $2.50 per gallon in the spring and summer, or at least 17 cents per gallon above current prices. “Short-Term Energy Outlook” was released by the department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA cited several reasons for the forecast: seasonal demand for gasoline, elimination of MTBE as a gasoline additive and the switch to ethanol, no expectation of a precipitous drop in crude prices, strong global demand and the potential for continued supply disruptions in many key producing areas.