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EIA Forecasts Higher Gas Prices This Summer

EIA Forecasts Higher Gas Prices This Summer

USA retail gasoline prices have been on a steady increase for the better part of the year.

In fact, the American Automobile Association reports that the average gas price this week - $2.29 a gallon - was the highest it has been in 19 months.

Average retail gasoline prices in Tennessee have risen 4.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.13 a gallon for regular unleaded on April 9, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 3,821 gas outlets in Tennessee.

The Mid-Atlantic region continues to see a jump in gas prices as stations make the final change over to summer-blend fuels and the increase in driving demand takes hold for the season.

Even with the raise, this marks the third year in a row that the average summer gasoline price is below $3 per gallon. Prices on the West Coast are often the highest in the country because California requires a blend of gasoline that is relatively costly to produce and some states in the region have higher state tax rates than the national average.

Statewide, the average price of gas Friday was $2.31 a gallon, compared with $2.25 a week ago, $2.18 a month ago and $2.01 a year ago. As the Easter holiday long weekend arrives, national gas prices are at their highest point for the year, the travel agency reported Thursday. That is $0.37 more per gallon compared to a year ago and $.06 more than last week.

"Last year we had a lot of refinery kinks", he said, which accounted for the significantly higher price at the pump.

If government estimates are accurate, the average US household would be spending about $200 more on gasoline than a year ago.

Gail Weinholzer, at AAA-Iowa, says pump prices are up about a nickel a gallon in the past week, but it's not due to the holiday. Summer-grade gasoline is more costly to manufacture. Gasoline prices in Gulf Coast states are often among the lowest in the country because of relatively low state tax rates and abundant gasoline supplies, as the region is home to about half of US petroleum refining capacity. USA production also is projected to increase to an average of 9.2 million barrels a day in 2017 and 9.9 million barrels a day in 2018, up from 8.9 million barrels a day past year.

Still, that imaginary average household would still save about $300 compared to average yearly spending on gas from 2012 to 2016.

While DeHaan expects gas consumption to fall slightly, he said drivers will probably set another record for the amount of miles they drive because fuel efficiency has improved.

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