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National Gas Prices at Record Highs, Oregon Average Eases SlightlySalem-News.com
The price of crude hit yet another record high late last week, but drops several dollars today. Our national average is holding steady at a record high near $4.11 per gallon.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Even the President is talking about high gas prices and possible solutions. The recent run-up in crude has yet to be reflected fully at the pumps. Why are retailers reluctant to pass the higher prices on to consumers? And what's the outlook for prices for the rest of the summer?
AAA reports that for the second day in a row, the national average for regular unleaded remains at a record high of nearly $4.11, gaining a tenth of a cent in the past week. Oregon's average dropped two cents this week to $4.27 and prices in many of Oregon's measured metro areas are ticking down slightly as well.
AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, "Oregon and Washington are among 41 states, including the District of Columbia, with averages for regular unleaded at or above $4 per gallon, up from 39 states last week."
Crude oil prices have surged again in recent days. During trading last Friday, crude peaked at a record $147 per barrel and settled at $145 Monday. Today crude is trading at about $138. Prices shot up in response to Iran's missile testing and concern about Nigerian violence which could disrupt the flow of oil. Today's drop is a result of negative economic news in the banking and automobile manufacturing sectors and weak June retail sales numbers, all of which suggest that energy demand could continue to weaken. In addition, the dollar has fallen to new lows against the Euro.
The significant increases in the price of crude are not fully reflected at the pumps, otherwise our national average would be five to ten cents higher than it is now. One reason is that retailers are watching gas sales fall and this can have a huge impact on sales of higher-profit margin convenience items that depend on drivers stopping to fill up their tanks.
Prices at the pumps continue to be much higher than they were a year ago. The national average was $3.05 last year, while Oregon's average was $2.99.
Portland’s price of $4.221 a gallon for regular is the lowest average in Oregon, followed closely by Salem’s $4.231 average. The Eugene/Springfield area is seeing an average of $4.291, while drivers in Medford/Ashland are seeing an average of $4.367. Drivers in Vancouver, Washington, are paying an average of $4.299 for regular.
Oregon's gas prices are 7th highest in the nation for the sixth week in a row. Alaska has the most expensive gas in the country for the third week in a row at $4.64 a gallon, followed by California at $4.51, Hawaii at $4.47, Connecticut at $4.37, and Washington at $4.34. South Carolina has the least expensive gas in the country again this week, holding steady at $3.91 per gallon.
Diesel prices are setting new record highs this week. The national average gains two cents to $4.83, while Oregon's average increases three cents to $4.88. Diesel averages are above $5 per gallon in five states again this week. Hawaii has the highest statewide average price for diesel again this week at $5.38, followed by Alaska at $5.26, California at $5.14, New York at $5.12,and Connecticut at $5.05. Oregon's diesel prices are the 14th most expensive, up from 15th last week. A year ago the national average for diesel was $2.95 and Oregon's average was $2.89.
Source: Oregon AAA
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