Fuel Prices Jump 5%, Drivers Feel Pinch at the Pump

By Jesse Sokolow on 23 February 2013
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Fuel prices in Southern California this week

Fuel prices in Southern California this week

The price per gallon of gasoline that drivers are paying at the pump has gone up 4.9% in the past week, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, while the average cost of diesel has risen by only 2.1% in the same period.

Across the nation, the average cost of gasoline rose by $0.136 to $3.747 per gallon, with the Midwest experiencing the greatest increase.  The region saw prices rise about $0.18 per gallon, from $3.582 to $3.763.  The most expensive gasoline was on the West Coast however, with prices there reaching $3.971, up $0.106 from last week’s $3.867.  The second highest prices in the nation were in New England, with the region recording costs of $3.798 per gallon.

The average price of diesel this past week was $4.157, up $0.053 from last week’s price.  The regions of New England and the Rocky Mountains both experienced an increase of $0.068, the highest rise in the country.  New England saw its prices rise from $4.266 to $4.334 per gallon, the most expensive in the country, while the Rocky Mountains’ diesel costs rose to $4.032 from $3.964.  The West coast had the nation’s second highest priced diesel, at an average of $4.303 per gallon, up $0.038 from last week’s price of $4.265. 

Although prices are up all around, they are only slightly higher than they were last year, and are nowhere near as their highs from 2008.  The recent spike in costs can be explained by a combination of the rising prices of crude-oil, a decrease in oil production, and an increase in gasoline futures by traders, as well as the fact that refineries are switching from a winter blend to a more costly summer blend, ultimately resulting in less availability at the pump.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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