Temperatures aren’t the only thing that’s been heating up recently. AAA is reporting that gas prices have risen for the 3rd straight week. The national average price for a gallon of regular gas was slightly more than $3.70 on July 22, an increase of 8.58 cents in the past two weeks, according to the Lundberg Survey released this weekend.
A year ago, the price per gallon was $2.73, about 96.72 cents less than the current price. The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States rose for the first time since early May following an increase in the price of crude oil, according to the latest Lundberg survey, which includes data from over 2,500 gas stations across the continental US.
Prices in Tucson, Arizona were the lowest in the nation at $3.28 a gallon. Chicago drivers are currently paying the highest gas prices at $4.07 per gallon.
The increase per gallon is nearly the exact same as the rise per gallon of a barrel of crude linked to the benchmark West Texas Intermediate, which jumped to $99.87 per barrel, up from $96.20 two weeks ago.
Recently high unemployment and a general weak economy has been affecting the demand for gasoline. But in recent times, it’s different. The cost of oil has been on the rise again. Trilby Lundberg, the survey’s editor, told Reuters, “If it had not been for the recent crude oil price hikes, we would have seen prices fall at the pump because of that weak demand and the economy. It is crude, period, that did this.”
World crude oil prices initially fell following the June 23 announcement by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that its member countries would release up to 60 million barrels from strategic reserves but then rose above the pre-announcement levels in late June and early July.
EIA expects regular-grade gasoline prices will average $3.62 per gallon and $3.51 per gallon over the third and fourth quarters of 2011, respectively.
If your business has been affected by this year’s high gas prices, now may be a good time to consider GPS fleet tracking. A fleet tracking system can significantly help you to cut fuel costs, increase efficiency, and reduce vehicle emissions.