Susquehanna Valley gas prices fell almost three cents to $3.62 a gallon this week, according to AAA East Central.

On the national front

Tuesday's national average price at the pump was $3.53 per gallon. This is 12 cents more expensive than one month ago, but just a penny above last week's price and 14 cents per gallon less than the same date last year.

The current pricing trends are dictated by the impact of seasonal refinery maintenance and any disruptions to production or distribution. As is the case each spring, refiners are required to produce summer-blend gasoline by May 1. The maintenance that refineries undertake in advance of the switch and the actual switch itself increases the chance of disruptions to production, which can send prices higher in the affected area. While refinery issues have thus far been minimal this spring, the next several weeks will bear close attention.

Pump prices in most states have moved higher over the last week; however, prices did fall in 20 states, including a seven-cent tumble in Ohio. Midwest, and in particular Great Lakes, states have consistently topped the list of most dramatic price changes.

Only prices in Hawaii are above the $4 per gallon threshold. Drivers in California pay the most in the continental U.S. ($3.98), followed by a handful of states the Northeast (New York and Connecticut: $3.77; and Maine: $3.64) and the Great Lakes region (Illinois: $3.74; Michigan: $3.71; and Indiana: $3.68).

Lofty domestic crude oil supplies have largely offset geopolitical tensions with Russia and positive U.S. economic data, as crude oil prices continue to trade in a narrow range. West Texas Intermediate crude settled 14 cents higher at $99.60 per barrel on Monday.

(AAA East Central - a not-for-profit association with 82 local offices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky servicing 2.7 million members - provides Fuel Gauge each week.)