Gas prices continue to set new record highs

Gas prices continue to set new record highs The nationwide average price of self-serve regular gasoline has set a new record high price every day since Aug. 8, when the price of self-serve regular reached $2.339 per gallon.

Since that date the price has increased an additional 18.5 cents per gallon and is currently $2.524 per gallon, according to AAA�s daily online Fuel Gauge Report (www.fuelgaugereport.com).

According to AAA, the nationwide average price of self-serve regular gasoline is 20.4 cents higher than one month ago and 66.5 cents higher than one year ago.

Most of the increase is due to sharply higher crude oil costs, although inventories of crude oil appear to be more than adequate to meet current demand in the United States.

�Prices in South Dakota have been setting new records over the past week also, reaching a record high $2.545 cents per gallon,� said Cheri Cihak, AAA spokesperson. �This is an increase of more than 19 cents in the last week alone, and 63 cents higher than a year ago.�

Both the Rapid City and Sioux Falls markets have also been breaking daily records. The average price of gasoline in Sioux Falls is $2.514, up 22.6 cents in the past week alone, and 64 cents higher than a year ago. In Rapid City, regular unleaded gasoline is averaging $2.652 per gallon, up 19.4 cents from last week and up more than 65 cents over last year.

�Industry analysts continue to blame the rapid rise in prices on domestic refinery problems along with jitters over possible disruptions in the supply of crude oil coming into the U.S. from the Middle East,� Cihak said.

The best and easiest ways to reduce your fuel bill are to keep your tires properly inflated, make sure your air filter is clean, and only use premium gasoline if your owner�s manual recommends it.

And, if your vehicle can burn the new E85 flex fuel, use it. This will save you on average 50 to 55 cents per gallon.

In addition, using E85 is helpful to the environment, supports our local economy, and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

The national average prices for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline for AAA�s mid-August survey for the last five years are: 2004, $1.859; 2003, $1.566; 2002, $1.405; 2001, $1.393; and 2000, $1.496.

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