Gasoline prices in California have been inching upward this week, tipping the average price in most communities past $3, Central Valley Business Times reported.
At $3.012 California is one of three states with an average gas price exceeding $3-the other two being Alaska at $3.406 and Hawaii at $3.270- according to the American Automobile Association.
“Motorists have spent most of 2009 paying gas prices that were much lower than in 2008,” Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California told the Central Valley Business Times.
“But now 2009 gas prices are almost equal to those we paid in 2008. Barring a new financial disaster, it’s likely that for the rest of the year, drivers will be paying more to fill up than in the fall and winter of 2008, when prices in California plunged well below $2 a gallon,” he added.
Crude oil futures closed Thursday barely under $80 per barrel, an increase attributed to the recovering U.S. economy. Last week, light sweet crude reached $82 a barrel, marking the high for the year.
The lowest reported gas price in the country on Oct. 30 is $2.15 per gallon, at a Costco gas station in Marana, Ariz., a small city along Interstate 10 near Tucson, and at an Arco station in Tucson, GasBuddy reported. That price is 11 cents higher than last week’s low, which was found in Tucson. GasBuddy bases its figures on reports from volunteer “price spotters” reporting specific locations in the U.S. and Canada. They are not independently confirmed.
Gasoline prices throughout California are higher than the national average and usually among the highest in the nation, due partly to taxes and a state law that requires a special blend of fuel to reduce polluting emissions.