Gas Prices Move up Sharply with Start of New Year, AAA Reports
The nationwide average price of self-serve regular gasoline is $2.322 today, AAA's daily, online Fuel Gauge Report, http://www.aaafuelgaugereport.com, shows. This is 15.1 cents higher since the middle of December 2005, and 55 cents higher than one year ago.
AAA said gas prices shot up 9.8 cents per gallon in just the last week, as crude oil prices also increased to near $64 per barrel. AAA said most of the increase in gasoline prices can be traced to higher prices for both crude oil and wholesale gasoline.
Unfortunately motorists that were feeling good about gasoline prices falling in December, now face the prospect of higher prices in the new year, AAA said. Although 2006 prices may not revisit the highs reached after Hurricane Katrina, wise consumers will begin budgeting now for higher fuel costs in 2006. This is because prices typically increase in the Spring with the start of seasonal refinery maintenance, and even a modest series of price increases could easily take the price of gasoline near $2.50 per gallon later this year, AAA said.
Statewide average prices are above $2.00 in every state with Hawaii having the highest price in the nation at $2.695 per gallon. States in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions have the next highest average prices. In New York the price is $2.534 today. In West Virginia the price is $2.445 and in Connecticut gasoline is averaging $2.437. Gasoline prices in California, which are often among the nation's highest, are averaging $2.356.
The lowest state-wide average gasoline prices in the nation are in Utah at $2.082 per gallon, followed by Idaho at $2.134 per gallon, and Wyoming at $2.149.
Nationwide, the price of self-serve, mid-grade gasoline averages $2.465 per gallon, an increase from $2.304 per gallon in the middle of last month, and up from $1.881 one year ago. Self-serve premium averages $2.554 per gallon, up from $2.338 per gallon one month ago and $1.950 higher than one year ago.
The national average prices for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline for AAA's mid-January survey for the last five years are: 2005, $2.276; 2004, $1.840; 2003, $1.558; 2002, $1.346; and 2001, $1.449.
AAA's Fuel Gauge Report is based on data from Oil Price Information Service, the nation's most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information. AAA purchases the data and makes it available free on the Internet as a public service. Average daily prices for the nation, all 50 states and more than 250 localities are available for all grades of gasoline, making the site the most current and complete public source of fuel price information.
As the nation's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 49 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at http://www.aaa.com.