Gas Prices 15 Percent Higher Than a Year Ago

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CARS.COM — The national average for regular gasoline edged up another 2 cents the past week to $2.42 a gallon, the fifth week in a row for higher prices. Regular is 12 cents higher than five weeks ago and 31 cents higher than a year ago, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Premium gas also rose 2 cents the past week to $2.92, and diesel fuel a penny to $2.54; premium is 34 cents higher than a year ago and diesel is 42 cents higher.

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The higher prices are a result of seasonal maintenance at refineries that curtails gasoline production and, in many parts of the country, a switch to summer gasoline blends that reduce emissions but are more expensive to produce.

Here's was going on with gas prices across the country:

  • Pump prices rose or fell by a penny or two in many states the past week, but jumped 5 cents a gallon in Alaska and 4 cents in Florida and Kansas.
  • Hawaii continued as the most expensive state for gas. AAA listed the average for regular in Hawaii at $3.07, followed by California at $3.01 and Alaska at $2.95.
  • South Carolina had the lowest average price for regular at $2.13.
  • Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee averaged $2.18.

Gas prices also have risen in recent weeks because the price of oil has gone up. Oil, though, fell nearly 5 percent Wednesday amid news that gasoline inventories are above normal. U.S. oil was trading at less than $51 a barrel early Thursday, down from more than $53 a week ago.

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Contributor Rick Popely has covered the auto industry for decades and hosts a weekly online radio show on TalkZone.com.  Email Rick

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