Gas prices break, fall three cents
Susquehanna Valley motorists saw gas prices reverse their upward trend and settle down 3 cents at the pump. The average is $3.835 per gallon, AAA East Central reported on Tuesday.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, meanwhile, is now $3.74. That's 22 cents more than one month ago, but three cents less expensive than one week ago and three cents less than the average price one year ago.
Motorists in every state are paying more at the pump than one month ago; however, many drivers are beginning to feel some welcome relief. Twenty-seven states have an average price that is cheaper than one year ago and 38 states and Washington, D.C., are paying less than one week ago, AAA East Central reports.
In 2012, the national average for regular unleaded peaked at $3.94 on April 5 and 6. During 2011, the price peaked at $3.98 on May 5.
Sharply higher pump prices in January and February of this year were driven by refinery maintenance and concerns, rather than more expensive crude oil. These refinery issues pressured wholesale gasoline prices higher, while crude oil prices only rose slightly during the same period. The recent decline in the national average is partially due to cheaper crude oil but is more closely linked to tumbling wholesale gasoline prices.
Crude oil prices began 2013 at $93.12 per barrel and increased as high as $97.94 on Jan. 30. At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX Monday, WTI prices settled 56 cents lower at $90.12 per barrel.
This week's Susquehanna Valley average price: $3.835
Average price during the week of Feb. 26: $3.861
(AAA East Central, part of the AAA family, serves members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and Kentucky. Fuel Gauge is published each week in The News-Item.)