The latest pump price for regular unleaded gasoline is up 58 cents from a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's weekly survey of service stations.
The highest U.S. gasoline price, when adjusted for inflation in 2004 dollars, was $2.99 a gallon in March 1981, according to the Energy Department's analytical arm.
The national gasoline price has risen 22 cents since the beginning of May. High crude oil prices, which account for about half the cost of making gasoline, are the main factor behind rising pump prices.
Meanwhile, a White House spokesman said on Monday that President Bush continues to believe gasoline prices are too high, which partly reflects strong fuel demand due to the growing economy.
U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham met over the weekend with Saudi Arabia's oil minister and other OPEC officials, and pushed for an increase in the cartel's oil output.
To help lower oil prices, Saudi Arabia promised to boost its own crude production by about 500,000 barrels per day to 9.1 million bpd for June, and proposed that OPEC raise its output quota by up to 2.5 million bpd. The cartel meets in Beirut on June 3 to consider production changes.