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Mar-04-2008 11:16TweetFollow @OregonNews
No Relief in Sight from Skyrocketing Gas PricesSalem-News.com
Oregon's average for regular unleaded is just a few cents shy of the record high set last May.
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - "Here it is early March, and the price of gas is just a few cents away from the record highs set last May." AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, "The Oregon average shoots up another 11 cents this week to $3.36, on top of a 16-cent hike the week before.
The national average is up two-and-a-half cents to $3.17, after an 11-cent increase the week before. The price of crude oil has been in record territory, passing $103 per barrel in trade Monday."
Gas prices are expected to continue to rise as we approach the summer driving season. And with the continued weakness of the U.S. dollar, the price of crude oil is not expected to come down significantly in the short term. (Crude is traded in dollars.) Also, U.S. refineries will start to switch from winter fuel blends to the more expensive summer blends. $4-per-gallon gas is not out of the realm of possibility.
The skyrocketing price of gas is impacting consumption. The Energy Information Administration reports gas sales in the U.S. are down 1.1% in the past month. At the same time, gas inventories have been increasing over the past four months, reaching their highest levels in 14 years.
Gas prices continue to be much higher than they were a year ago. The national average was $2.48 last year, while Oregon's average was $2.61. Prices are up in all of Oregon's measured metropolitan areas and in Vancouver, WA. In Vancouver, prices are up 13 cents. In Salem and Medford/Ashland, prices are up 12 cents, and in Portland and Eugene/Springfield, prices are up 11 cents this week.
Salem’s average of $3.327 comes in as the lowest price in Oregon, with Portland’s cost coming in slightly higher at $3.344. In Eugene/Springfield the average price is $3.394, with Medford/Ashland drivers paying an average of $3.435. Self serve gas is selling for an average cost of $3.426 in Vancouver, Washington.
Oregon's gas prices are now fourth highest in the nation, up from sixth last week and 12th the week before. Hawaii continues to have the most expensive gas in the country at $3.54 per gallon, followed by California at $3.50, Washington at $3.44, Oregon, and New York at $3.33. New Jersey and Missouri have the least expensive gas in the country this week at $2.98 per gallon. They are the only two states with average prices below $3 per gallon, compared with three states last week and 22 the week before.
The national average for diesel is up 8 cents this week to $3.68 per gallon, compared to $2.68 a year ago. Oregon's average is up 12 cents to $3.69, compared to $2.70 a year ago. Hawaii again has the highest statewide average price for diesel at $3.94.
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