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Fuel Prices Finally Drop After 5 Weeks

The national average for regular gas fell 2 cents this past week to $2.34, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, ending a five-week string of increases.

Prices fell in a majority of states but rose on the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountains, where refinery production lagged other parts of the country. The Energy Information Administration said refineries in the West were operating at 92-93 percent of capacity compared to 96-97 percent elsewhere.

That helped fuel a 15-cent jump in the average price for regular in Idaho to $2.77 early Thursday, which came on the heels of a 9-cent jump the previous week. Prices rose by 5 cents in Oregon and Utah.

Motorists in most other parts of the country, though, saw pump prices ease by at least a penny or two. In the volatile Great Lakes area, where prices had shot up last week, regular fell by 8 cents in Michigan and 9 cents in Indiana and Ohio.

Here's a quick look at the extreme ends of pricing at the pump this week:

  • South Carolina had the lowest statewide average for regular at $2.08, followed by Alabama and Mississippi at $2.10.

  • Hawaii had the most expensive gas, with regular averaging $3.09. California was next at $2.98, followed by Washington at $2.86.

The national average for premium gas fell a penny the past week to $2.87, but diesel fuel rose a penny to $2.53, according to AAA. Regular is now 21 cents higher than a year ago, while premium and diesel are both 23 cents higher than the same week in 2016.

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