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    Gas Prices In Flux Nationwide

    Regular unleaded inching down, but diesel hits record high.

    NEW YORK -- The average retail price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline is now $2.932, up 50.6 percent from the same time a year ago. A year ago, the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.947, reported ConsumerAffairs.com .

    ConsumerAffairs.com reported that the average price of a gallon of diesel has set yet another record at $3.197. Diesel prices are up 53.3 percent from a year ago. This time last year, diesel cost $2.085 a gallon.
    Regular unleaded gasoline is moving down in small increments. Gas prices peaked on Labor Day and have moved up and down since, falling as low as $2.755 per gallon Sept. 22.

    Ten refineries accounting for 14 percent of U.S. capacity remain closed and 80 percent of offshore Gulf of Mexico oil production is still offline.

    Gasoline demand over the last four weeks fell by 2.6 percent below the same time last year. That is the largest demand decline in five years, according to the report.
    Hawaii remains at the top of the price charts with the most expensive gasoline in the country averaging $3.432. Oklahoma enjoys the least expensive gasoline with regular unleaded selling for $2.768.

    Here’s a look at some prices around the country.


    The Automobile Club of Southern California reports that gasoline prices in San Diego County continue to rise because of thin national supplies caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

    San Diego prices linger at $3.013, 4.6 cents above last week's price, 3 cents below last month and 77 cents above last year.

    On the Central Coast, the average price is $3.042, up 2.5 cents from last week, 7 cents lower than last month and 68 cents higher than last year.

    In the Inland Empire, the average price is $2.997, up 4.9 cents from last week, 3 cents below last month and 77 cents higher than last year.

    "Even though California produces nearly all of its own fuel, gasoline markets nationwide react to each other when dramatic swings in price occur," Auto Club spokeswoman Carol Thorp told ConsumerAffairs.com . "California has been protected against dramatic super spikes some regions are experiencing, but prices will continue to swing up and down in response to an unstable energy market."

    In Los Angeles the average price of self-serve regular gasoline is $2.977, which is 5.6 cents higher than last week, 2 cents lower than last month and 77 cents higher than last year.

    Washington State

    Gasoline prices are reported to be headed down after peaking above $2.90 a gallon in September.

    The average price of regular unleaded fuel in Snohomish County has settled in at $2.88 a gallon. That price has fallen by a few tenths of a cent but has been largely unchanged since late September.

    A year ago, a gallon of unleaded gasoline cost $2.05 in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett region, according to AAA. Two years ago, it was $1.77 a gallon.


    The Mobile Register reports that some local mom-and-pop gas stations are alleging that large oil companies are trying to drive them out of business, charging independent owners more for wholesale gasoline than stations selling name-brand gas.

    In response to allegations of price gouging, Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson is investigating pricing practices at Shell Oil Co.'s refinery in Saraland, Ala.
    About half of the gasoline sold in Mobile County comes from pumps operated by independents, many of them as part of family-run businesses.

    Last week, gas from the Shell refinery in Saraland cost independent stations up to 70 cents more per gallon than it cost Shell retail stations, Tyson told ConsumerAffairs.com .


    Gas prices in Georgia are among the highest in the country. One year ago gasoline cost $1.84 a gallon and now the average is above $3 a gallon, despite the lowest gas tax in the country.

    "The national average is $2.94," AAA division manager Frankie DeFord told ConsumerAffairs.com . "Gas in Georgia averages $3.07. Savannah's average is $3.14."

    Georgia joins only seven other states with prices at more than $3 a gallon.

    Consumers in Camden County are feeling the squeeze as gas prices continue to increase at the pumps. Gas prices jumped approximately 14 cents last weekend when Georgia's gas tax exemption expired.


    Iowa Senate Democratic President Jack Kibbie told ConsumerAffairs.com its time for the legislature to look at new efforts to spark the use of alternative fuels.
    Kibbie has long pushed for a requirement that all gasoline sold in the state be blended with ethanol. He says gas prices at near three-dollars a-gallon will give the Legislature the push it needs to come up with programs to save Iowans money on energy costs and to create jobs.

    South Carolina

    South Carolina has gone from having some of the nation's lowest gas prices to some of the highest in the past year.

    AAA of the Carolinas told ConsumerAffairs.com the state average is $3.01 up from $1.81 a year ago.
    Experts say pipelines serving Southeastern states were damaged, while pipelines going to the West and Midwest were not.


    The Cody Enterprise reports that some gasoline dealers in Cody are embarrassed by the high prices they are charging their friends and neighbors, but still they have to stay in business.

    "It makes you feel guilty when (prices) are that high," Jim Hoffman, owner of Hobo Oil Co., told ConsumerAffairs.com . Hoffman buys wholesale gasoline and sells it at retail prices through card-lock pumps on Big Horn Avenue in Cody.

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