U.S. gas prices could hit record high just in time for Memorial Day trips
American drivers could face record gas prices at the end of this month, just in time for Memorial Day weekend travel. The surge in U.S.S. retail gasoline...
Northwest travel guides
American drivers nationwide could face record gas prices at the end of this month, just in time for Memorial Day weekend travel.
The AAA auto and travel club says gasoline prices already have reached a record high in Washington, averaging $3.18 a gallon.
That's a penny higher than the previous record set in May of last year. The national average is $2.88 a gallon.
The surge in U.S. retail gasoline prices results from ongoing supply problems at the nation's oil refineries, the automobile and travel group AAA said today. Gas prices have surged 30 cents per gallon since early April to a national average $2.97 for a gallon of regular gas. That's within a dime of the record struck after Hurricane Katrina shut down refineries along the Gulf Coast in 2005. The average price in Washington state is already far above that: $3.31 today for a gallon of regular gas, according to the AAA's online fuel-cost gauge.
"The nationwide average price of self-serve regular will probably hit $3 per gallon in the next few days, and could possibly set a new all-time record high price before the end of the month," AAA said.
Gasoline stockpiles in the United States have dropped by 15 percent since early February amid an unusually high number of refinery outages, along with strong demand and low imports.
AAA said it was "alarming" that gasoline prices were rising so high without the backdrop of a major geopolitical or natural event to disrupt supply, like a hurricane or a new military flare-up in the Middle East.