Gas prices have soared to the highest price of the year, topping $3 a gallon, The Citizens’ Voice reported.
For the first time since Oct. 2008, gas prices have risen to an average of $3.05 a gallon in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa. area, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The national average price of self-serve regular gas sits at $2.977 a gallon, up nearly eight cents in the last seven days, according to AAA. That’s nearly 35 cents a gallon higher than last year at this time. The price of diesel fuel is $3.242, five cents a gallon higher than last Friday, Consumeraffairs.com reported.
“We all have our fingers crossed that it will go down,” said Jana Tidwell, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “When we see gas prices like this, it is often in response to what’s happening to crude oil.”
About 60% of the cost of gas is determined by the rate of crude oil, Tidwell said. Crude oil hit a 2010 high at $89.19 a barrel on Friday. A weakened dollar and a sharper rise in heating oil attracted investors, pushing crude oil to its highest price in 25 months, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. The price of crude oil has risen as the demand for heating oil increased in the cold weather.
“When crude oil spikes, gas prices will follow suit,” Tidwell said. “The average gas price in Wilkes-Barre is at a 778-day high.”
The price of gas has an impact on food prices due to shipping costs from the farm to a manufacturing facility to a distribution center to the supermarket, Joe Fasula, co-owner of Gerrity’s, which operates nine markets in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties told The Citizens’ Voice.
Gerrity’s does not increases prices unless price increases are passed onto the supermarket, he said. Sometimes, Gerrity’s absorbs the price increase itself to remain competitive, he said. He expects prices to continue to rise.
“It’s just been a strange ride because prices have just steadily grown and they keep growing,” Fasula told The Citizens’ Voice.
The states with the most expensive gasoline today, according to Consumeraffairs.com are:
New York ($3.240)
The states with the least expensive gasoline today are:
South Carolina ($2.810)