Some major cities report gas prices over $2 a gallon as retail gasoline prices continue to soar amid fears of war in Iraq and sharp drops in fuel supply, according to Reuters and Associated Press reports. Since the beginning of the year, the average retail price of regular unleaded has risen 22 cents to $1.66 a gallon. However, wholesale gas prices have increased only 14 cents over the same period, AP reports. Gas station owners insist they are not the ones to blame, saying that suppliers have been increasing their prices for weeks and that station owners are passing along the rising costs to consumers. Reuters says gasoline prices are expected to continue to rise as spring approaches, with the potential to break new records as driving demand increases. In San Francisco, the average price for regular gasoline was $2.044 (on Wed. Feb. 19), with premium grades in Los Angeles and Oakland breaking the $2 mark, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). A spokesman for AAA said the spike in gasoline prices is not justified and is coming “uncomfortably close” to gouging. Geoff Sundstrom, a spokesman for AAA, said nothing has occurred to prompt the increase and suggested that oil companies are anticipating what will happen to crude oil prices if the US invades Iraq.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials