Gas prices making a jump at the pump

Annie Hall fills her car at a local gas station before driving to Centerville. Gas prices are on the rise on Utah.

Gas prices are rising at Utah’s gas stations faster than the rest of the nation and have now breached $3 a gallon, claimed American Automobile Association of America (AAA).

Motorists have definitely felt an increasing squeeze on their wallets at the pump compared to earlier this year.

As of the beginning of the week, prices per gallon jumped to .13 cents a gallon in Utah, the biggest jump of any other state in the country.

Annie Hall came to Logan to help her mother and filled her car with gas at a Logan gas station for the trip home. She said gas prices are getting too high.

“Sure it bothers me, but what can I do,” Hall said. “No one likes paying for gas.”

“Compared to the beginning of this year, motorists have definitely felt an increasing squeeze on their wallets at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “These increases mean Americans are having to work more to afford to fill-up their gas tanks.”

“With 17 states within a dime of or already at $3 a gallon or more,” Casselano said, “Americans can expect the national average to likely surpass 2018’s high of $2.97 a gallon set during Memorial Day weekend.”

Rikki Hrenko-Browning, president of Utah Petroleum Institute, said pricing is a direct response of supply and demand.

“Typically, as the weather warms consumption starts to increase, while demand weakens in the winter,” she said. “This often leads to higher summer and lower winter gas prices.”

During turnarounds supply can tighten leading to short term price increases, she said.

“The price of crude is currently in the low $60 per barrel range, while last summer it was in the mid $70s,” Hrenko-Browning said. “So, big picture, prices at the pump are still lower than where they were a year ago – as is the price of crude.”

She said there are other factors that can change the price of crude, which is dictated by a number of international factors – some market, some political – that drive the price of gasoline.

AAA also reported a few other things that may cause a jump at the pump.

The refineries are switching over to more expensive summer blend of gasoline.

Gas prices at the pump have now breached $3 a gallon in Cache Valley.

During the summer, gasoline production slows due to maintenance at refineries across the country.

Political factors like OPEC and its partners’ 1.2 million barrels of crude oil production reduction agreement, and tighter U.S enforcement of its crude export sanctions on Iran can affect the price of gas at the pump.

Behind Utah’s .13 cent rise in gas price is Delaware, up .12 cents, Rhode Island up .10 cents and Idaho, up .09 cents.

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