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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After rising for 36 consecutive days, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for three straight days as of Feb. 25, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report.
The current national average is still the highest on record for that calendar date at $3.78, which is 5 cents more expensive than one week ago, 44 cents more expensive than one month ago and 9 cents more expensive than one year ago.
Refinery maintenance schedules and the switch to summer-blend gasoline were the primary drivers behind the lengthy streak of price increases, the longest in almost two years, as CSNews Online previously reported.
The Department of Energy reported on Feb. 21 that over the previous week, U.S. refineries had processed crude oil at the lowest rate since April 8, 2011. However, while gasoline output was also lower vs. one year ago, it was a less-dramatic decline, possibly due to the increased production of shale oil, which yields more gasoline per barrel than other crude products, stated AAA.
While the still-recovering economy, unemployment and an increase in the number of fuel-efficient vehicles on the road have resulted in an unremarkable domestic demand for gas, global demand continues to exert upward pressure on prices, according to experts.
Forty-six states and Washington, D.C., saw pump prices rise during the last week, while drivers in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky saw prices go down. Meanwhile, three states and Washington, D.C., are still paying an average of more than $4 per gallon.