Gas prices increase as cold weather sets in

Gas prices increase as cold weather sets in
After weeks of declining gas prices, Americans are again paying more at the pump with retailers charging an average of more than $2 per gallon in all but one state, AAA said Dec. 13.

The nationwide average price of self-serve regular gasoline had dropped to a season low of $2.122 per gallon on Dec. 4, according to AAA's daily, online Fuel Gauge Report, www.aaafuelgaugereport.com, before reversing course and rising 5.8 cents to $2.18 per gallon as of Dec. 13. The nationwide average price Dec. 13 compares to an average price of $1.866 per gallon recorded one year ago, according to AAA.

Energy demand created by cold winter temperatures and the approaching holidays were cited by AAA as primary reasons for the higher prices.

The South Dakota statewide average is $2.212, while the highest statewide average price is in Hawaii at $2.64 per gallon. Motorists in Alaska are paying the next highest price at $2.503 per gallon. New Yorkers are paying an average $2.36 per gallon; the third highest state average price.

The lowest state-wide average gasoline prices in the nation are in Utah at $1.998 per gallon, followed by South

Carolina at $2.055 per gallon.

Nationwide, the price of self-serve, mid-grade gasoline averages $2.315 per gallon, a decrease from $2.461 per gallon in the middle of last month, and up from $1.981 one year ago. Self-serve premium averages $2.398 per gallon, down from $2.558 per gallon one month ago and up from $2.054 one year ago.

The average price of gasoline in Sioux Falls is $2.204, down 2.1 cents from a month ago, and nearly 37 cents higher that last year at this time. In Rapid City, regular unleaded gasoline is averaging $2.262 per gallon, down 15.6 cents from last month, and up 33 cents over last year.

The national average prices for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline for AAA's mid-November survey for the last five years are: 2004, $1.866; 2003, $1.471; 2002, $1.378; 2001, $1.115; and 2000, $1.496.

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.

Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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