Elections, Iran Sanctions Could Push Gasoline Prices Higher Next Week

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Pump prices in most states have been ticking lower for the past couple weeks but that may be just a temporary treat for drivers. For the week, the national average for regular drops four cents to $2.81 while Oregon’s average slips two cents to $3.36.

The average price for a gallon of gas in Hermiston is ranging between $3.17-$3.19.

“AAA expects gas prices will likely start to increase as early as this week ahead of the Nov. 4 Iran sanctions and the midterm elections,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Peak refinery season is wrapping up, which is helping to push gas prices lower, but declining prices are not expected to be a long-term trend. How high gas prices go will depend on how the markets react to the events in early November.”

Oregon is one of 45 states and the District of Colombia where prices have decreased week-over-week. Iowa has the largest weekly decrease (-8 cents). Ohio has the largest weekly increase (+7 cents). This week eight states have averages at or above $3 a gallon, down from 11 a week ago.

Oregon is one of seven states where prices are higher now than a month ago. The national average is seven cents less and the Oregon average is 10 cents more than a month ago. Michigan has the largest monthly decrease (-21 cents). Washington has the largest monthly increase (+13 cents). The West Coast states are the only ones with monthly increases due to a natural gas pipeline rupture in British Columbia, Canada three weeks ago. This forced three Puget Sound refineries to shut production units. Those refineries are now back online, but states on the West Coast saw spikes in gas prices due to the decreased output.

The West Coast continues to have the most expensive gas prices in the nation. Hawaii tops the list for the 21st week in a row with California, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho rounding out the top seven. Oregon is fifth for the second week in a row. On the week, all the prices in the region except for Hawaii are lower.

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