Agency: Gas Prices Reach $2.28 Per Gallon
The nationwide average price of regular gasoline rose 6.3 cents to a record $2.28 a gallon, according to the EIA, the statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Energy. Prices on the West Coast, typically the country's highest, shot up by 13 cents to $2.52.
The gains came even as futures prices fell 11 percent in New York over the same period and followed an increase of 6.4 cents in the previous week. Soaring prices have put pressure on consumers and raised concerns about inflation, but they've yet to damp fuel demand, which is off to a strong start for the year.
Operational problems and seasonal maintenance at refineries combined with strong demand for fuel have sent refined product and crude oil prices to historic highs - gains only slightly dented by last week's futures-market pullback. Averaged across the country, gasoline prices are up 49.4 cents from a year ago, the EIA reported.
Gasoline prices rose in every region of the country in the week ended Monday. Prices were lowest on the Gulf Coast. But even there, the heart of the U.S. refining industry, they averaged $2.184, up 4.3 cents on the week and 52.1 cents on the year.