Gas prices surge to new highs

Gas prices surge to new highs The national average price of self-serve regular gasoline is withing fractions of $2 per gallon at $1.999 according to AAA's daily, online Fuel Gauge Report (www.fuelgaugereport. com). The average national price in now 49.6 cents per gallon higher than it was one year ago when the average price was $1.503.

The South Dakota statewide average price for self-serve regular gasoline is $1.988 per gallon. This is nearly 47 cents higher than during the dame period one year ago, and about 20 cents higher than one month ago.

In Sioux Falls the average is $1.994, up 47.8 cents from last year. The Rapid City average is $1.956 which is up 41.9 cents over last year.

AAA said average gasoline prices are in excess of $2 per gallon in 22 state with California motorists paying the most at an average of $2.30 per gallon. AAA said membership surveys suggest consumers may begin altering their driving patterns if gasoline prices stay above $2 for most of the summer, and will begin to actively consider switching to more fuel efficient vehicles.

Altered consumer behavior does not include canceling long-planned Memorial Day driving trips, however, since the nation's largest organization of motorists also reported today that a record 30.9 million travelers plan to vacation by car during the holiday, an increase of 3.4 percent over last year.

Much of the cause for today's high gasoline prices can be traced to oil production cutbacks made by OPEC countries in March and April, rising demand for gasoline as the US economy improves, the summer driving season approaching, and the nation's complex system of local clean gasoline regulations that are crimping gasoline supply lines, AAA said.

AAA's Fuel Gauge Report is based on data from Oil Price Information Service, the nation's most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information. AAA purchases the data and makes it available free on the Internet as a public service. Average daily prices for the nation, all 50 states and more than 250 localities are available for all grades of gasoline, making the site the most current and complete public source of fuel price information. For more information, go to and click on Daily Fuel Gauge.

For a free copy of AAA's Gas Watcher's Guide which provides motorists with 12 pages of helpful money and fuel-saving tips, stop by your local AAA office, or call 1-800-222-4545.

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