New Year Brings Higher Gas Prices

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The price of gasoline on Tuesday morning was more than six cents higher compared with last week’s national average pump price for a gallon of regular gasoline. Compared with the same day last year, prices are 35 cents a gallon higher. Happy New Year!

Average pump prices rose by at least a nickel a gallon in four out of five states over the past week, according to GasBuddy. In several states, gas taxes rose in a range of 7.9 cents per gallon in Pennsylvania to 0.1 cent per gallon in Florida. Gas taxes actually fell in two states: New York (down 0.8 cent) and West Virginia (down 1 cent).

Crude prices have jumped more than 2% Tuesday to around $55 a barrel as the agreed cuts to production from OPEC and other nations are scheduled to take effect this month. The rise in crude prices is being accompanied by a rise in the dollar. The greenback now trades at near parity with the euro.

Senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, Patrick DeHaan, said:

In 2016, motorists spent an average $2.13 per gallon on gasoline, the cheapest yearly average since 2004, and 28 cents lower than 2015, but if motorists made a resolution to pay less in 2017, they either broke it already or aren’t planning on driving for a while. While nearly 100,000 gas stations in the country were selling for $1.99 per gallon a year ago, fewer than 3,000 are today. Though we may see rising gas prices take a brief break in early February, we’re unlikely to come anywhere close to last year’s low levels

Monday’s most common price for a gallon of regular gas in the United States was $2.299, $0.40 a gallon higher than last year and 20 cents a gallon higher than a month ago.

There are no U.S. gas stations charging more than $4.00 a gallon for gas (yet) and just 0.1% charging between $3.50 and $4.00 a gallon. No gas station is charging less than $1.75 a gallon, and more than about 98% are charging more than $2.00 a gallon.

The five states where average gasoline prices were cheapest were South Carolina ($2.098), Arizona ($2.104), Oklahoma ($2.125), Alabama ($2.129) and Tennessee ($2.132).

The five states posting the highest averages were Hawaii ($3.003), California ($2.765), Washington ($2.671), Alaska ($2.639) and Pennsylvania ($2.609).

Crude oil prices are up about 2.2% Tuesday morning, with West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February delivery trading at $54.89, after closing at $53.72 last Friday. The price reached an intra-day high of $55.24 earlier in the morning.