U.S. Gas Prices Reach Record High

The American Automobile Association says the price of gas went up to just under $3.23 cents a gallon overnight, a bit higher than the previous record price set last May. Record oil prices are the reason.

The cost of a barrel reached about $110 dollars Tuesday morning. They are up from $87 a barrel in January. Light sweet crude for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange surged to $109.20 a barrel in electronic trading, before slipping back below $109 in European trading.

The International Energy Agency is warning that there is unlikely to be much relief from current high oil prices because of brisk demand in China and other emerging markets and analysts aren’t convinced that the huge runup in oil prices has run its course, the Associated Press reported.

The White House says that soaring oil prices are "not going to be solved overnight" and that "it would be wrong" of President Bush to promise otherwise. Presidential spokeswoman Dana Perino said Tuesday "there are some things we cannot do."

Perino said that the White House is concerned about the impact on consumers and small businesses, especially as consumers have less disposable income to purchase additional items. But she said, "It would be wrong of the president to provide false hope to people to think that we are going to be able to have an immediate impact to reduce gas prices. This is something that we’re all going to have to work through."

According to the Lundberg Survey of 7,000 stations nationwide, the average price of self-serve regular gasoline just three days ago in the U.S. was $3.19 a gallon, mid-grade was $3.31 and premium was $3.42. Of the cities surveyed, the cheapest price was in Cheyenne, Wyo., where a gallon of regular cost $2.95, on average. The highest was in San Francisco at $3.58.

Compared to a year ago, national gas prices are up 64 cents, the survey said.

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