NEWS

Only Three States Left With $2 Gas

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Gasoline prices have increased 18 days in a row, and $2 per gallon gas is now just a recent memory for millions of U.S. motorists.

The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said Friday that the national average for regular unleaded was $2.24 per gallon, 7 cents higher than a week ago and 20 cents higher than two weeks ago.

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Regular gasoline averaged less than $2 in only three states Friday compared to 25 states two weeks ago. Idaho had the lowest statewide average, $1.91, followed by Utah, $1.93, and Montana, $1.96.

AAA said that February typically is when seasonal refinery maintenance starts ahead of the summer driving season when demand for gas increases. The maintenance temporarily reduces gasoline supplies in areas served by those refineries and causes pump prices to rise.

At the same time, oil markets have been on the rise after U.S. crude prices hit a six-year low of $43.58 on Jan. 29. U.S. oil was trading at nearly $52 a barrel Friday, but analysts speculated that prices could start to fall again because of a glut of crude oil.

Over the last two weeks, though, pump prices have increased in most of the U.S. and hopes for a prolonged stretch of $2 gas is fading in the rearview mirrors of many drivers. In St. Louis, for example, the average price for regular was $2.15, according to AAA, 41 cents more than a month ago.

The statewide average for regular gas jumped 17 cents in California to $2.73 the past week, making the Golden State the second most expensive after Hawaii, where the average price has continued to fall and is down to $3.03. Prices in Alaska also have decreased and the $2.59 average was lower than California’s for the first time in recent memory.

Diesel fuel also has started to edge up, with the national average at $2.82 a gallon, which is 2 cents more than a week ago. The national average for a gallon of premium gas gained 7 cents the past week to $2.62.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

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