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High Demand Means Higher Gas Prices

Motorists in most states are paying more to fill their tanks as pump prices rose for a third week in a row, climbing 2 cents over the past week to a national average of $2.29 for regular.

The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said Thursday the average price of regular was 4 cents higher than a month ago and 14 cents higher than a year ago. Premium gas, at $2.82, was 15 cents higher than a year ago and diesel fuel, at $2.46, was up 13 cents.

Prices rose throughout the Southeast and Southwest, where gas tends to be cheaper. Regular rose 3 cents the past week in Alabama and South Carolina to $2.01, so as of Thursday, no states averaged less than $2 for the first time in six weeks.

Here's a glimpse of what's happening elsewhere in the country this week:

  • Motorists saw bigger increases in the District of Columbia, where regular jumped 6 cents, and in Florida, where it rose 7 cents.

  • Indiana and Michigan, states that typically have high price volatility, were the week's biggest losers. Average prices for regular fell 7 cents in Michigan and 9 cents in Indiana. Both had experienced double-digit increases over the previous three weeks.

  • Hawaii remained the most expensive state for gas with an average price of $3.06 for regular. California was next at $2.92, followed by Alaska and Washington at $2.81.

High demand has reduced gasoline and oil inventories in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration. At the same time, oil prices have increased, driving up pump prices.

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