WASHINGTON – The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 45 cents in the past 31 days, according to AAA, the fastest run-up since 2005.
Retail gasoline prices have climbed for 33 days in a row. A month ago, a gallon of regular gasoline cost $3.30; on Tuesday it stood at $3.75 nationwide.
Gasoline prices have risen to within a nickel of $4 a gallon in the District of Columbia as pump prices nationwide have been marching higher – the result of refinery closures and maintenance, lower oil production by Saudi Arabia, market anxiety about tensions in Iran and Iraq, and guarded optimism about the prospects for economic recovery in the United States, Europe and China.
The storm swiped south Florida on Sunday before moving into warm Gulf waters, where it is expected to strengthen into a hurricane.
On its current track, Isaac was due to slam into the Gulf Coast anywhere between Florida and Louisiana by Tuesday night or early Wednesday, the seventh anniversary of Katrina hitting New Orleans, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
“The weather is going to go downhill well in advance of that and that’s why today is the day of preparation,” said NHC director Richard Knabb.
The benefit of economic recovery is increased gasoline prices. We should expect to see gas hit $3.00 a gallon or higher by the summer. Pennsylvania has a .31 cents a gallon gas tax. We could actually see prices top $3.00 a gallon.
Any complicating factors like oil production being disrupted by hurricanes or unrest in the Middle East could cause prices to increase further.
This information is according to the US Energy Information Administration. The EIA was created by the Congress in 1977 and is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. The EIA is the nation’s premier source of unbiased energy data, analysis and forecasting.
FYI… AccuWeather is predicting an above average hurricane season for 2010 with 2-3 major strikes to the US coastline. Hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts through November 30th.