he short days and winter weather of January are making people drive less, lowering gasoline demand. But the price of crude oil has climbed higher as fears of a global recession ease. This is putting upward pressure on pump prices. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded rises six cents to $3.27.
The Oregon average slips a penny to $3.69.
“Demand for gas is usually lackluster this time of year and typically starts to tick up as the days get longer and spring break gets closer. So the main driver of higher pump prices this time of year is the higher cost of crude oil, which accounts for more than half of what we pay at the pumps,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.
Crude oil is trading around $80 per barrel. This month, West Texas Intermediate has ranged between about $73 and $81 per barrel and was $84 a year ago. Crude reached a recent high of $122.11 per barrel on June 8. The all-time high for WTI crude oil is $147.27 in July 2008.
Oregon is one of only 11 states with lower prices week-over-week. Alaska (-2 cents) has the largest weekly drop, followed by Nevada (-2 cents) and Hawaii (-2 cents). Colorado (+33 cents) has the largest week-over-week increase, followed by Georgia (+30 cents) and Indiana (+17 cents). The averages in New York, Maryland and Delaware are flat.
Hawaii ($4.99) is the state with the most expensive gas in the nation for the eighth week in a row, and drops below $5 a gallon. California ($4.43) is second and Washington $4.00 is third. These are the only three states with averages at or above $4 a gallon. This week 40 states and the District of Columbia have averages in the $3-range, and seven states have averages below $3 a gallon.
The cheapest gas in the nation is in Mississippi ($2.93) and Texas ($2.95). For the 105th week in a row, no state has an average below $2 a gallon.
The difference between the most expensive and least expensive states is $2.06 which continues to be stark.
Oregon is one of 17 states with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is 17 cents more and the Oregon average is 17 cents less than a month ago. Oregon has the third-largest monthly decrease in the nation. Idaho (-27 cents) and Utah (-21 cents) have the largest monthly declines. Colorado (+53 cents) and Wisconsin (+39 cents) have the largest monthly gains.
Oregon is one of 21 states with lower prices now than a year ago. The national average is two cents more and the Oregon average is 23 cents less than a year ago. This is the third-largest yearly drop in the nation. Montana (-34 cents) and Connecticut (-29 cents) have the largest year-over-year declines. Hawaii (+66 cents) has the biggest year-over-year jump.