Rising oil costs and demand push U.S. gasoline prices back up near record highs in March

As an example of the impact of rising costs on drivers, the cost of filling the 8.5 gallon tank of an empty Scion iQ subcompact car would have cost a total of approximately $25.16 $ at the rate of $2.962 per gallon last year. The same car would cost $36.79 at Monday’s national average, an increase of more than $11. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License picture

May 9 (UPI) — The national average for gas in the United States fell to a penny below the high mark set in March, mainly due to the rising cost of crude oil and growing demand ahead of the busy summer driving season.

Over the past two weeks, gasoline prices have jumped an average of 20 cents to $4.32 a gallon, according to AAA. That’s up $1.36 from the same time last year and 13 cents from just a week ago.

As an example of the impact of rising costs on drivers, the cost of filling the 8.5 gallon tank of an empty Scion iQ subcompact car would have cost a total of approximately $25.16 $ at the rate of $2.962 per gallon last year. The same car would cost $36.79 at Monday’s national average, an increase of more than $11.

The Ford Super Duty pickup, which has a massive 48-gallon fuel tank, would have cost $142.18 to fill empty a year ago, but now costs $207.74 to fill empty at the current national average, for an increase of more than $65 each fill.

The biggest price increases this week were seen in Michigan, which jumped 26 cents, and New Jersey, which jumped 25 cents. Prices rose 19 cents in Connecticut, Kentucky, Indiana and Rhode Island.

The most expensive markets to get gasoline are California at $5.82 per gallon, Hawaii at $5.28 per gallon, and Nevada at $5.11 per gallon. The cheapest market was Georgia with an average of $3.84 per gallon.

AAA cited data from the US Energy Information Administration, which shows total national gasoline inventories fell by 2.2 million barrels to 228.6 million barrels last week, while demand edged down. increased from 8.74 million barrels per day to 8.86 million barrels per day.

West Texas Intermediate crude, a global benchmark, ended trading last week near $110 a barrel, but prices fell in the early hours of trading on Monday to hover just below $104 per barrel.

Prices hit their highest point, $4.33 a gallon, in March – but prices fell slightly following President Joe Biden’s policy actions, including a waiver that will allow stations to sell oil. gasoline this summer with a 15% ethanol blend, which will give drivers better fuel efficiency.

Carol N. Valencia