AAA: Oregon gas prices up 27 cents in month

Expected to peak in next several weeks

PORTLAND, Ore. - Seasonal refinery maintenance and the mandated switchover to producing summer-blend gasoline continue to send retail gas prices higher, AAA Oregon/Idaho reported Tuesday.

The national average for regular unleaded adds a penny this week to $3.53 a gallon, while the Oregon average gains four cents to $3.63,  AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds said.

Oregon is tied with Michigan and Indiana for the biggest jump in gas prices in the past month, at 27 cents, followed by Washington at 25 cents, the organization reported.

"While the rate of increase has slowed, AAA expects prices will continue to rise a little more before peaking in the next several weeks," she added.

Pump prices in most states have moved higher over the last week, led by a six-cent increase in Texas. However, prices did fall in 20 states, including a 14-cent tumble in Ohio. 

The Midwest, and in particular Great Lakes states have consistently topped the list of most dramatic price changes.  When prices have fallen in these states, they've fallen sharply -- and when they've increased, they've increased quickly.

This is also true over the last month, where prices in Michigan and Indiana top the list of increases, followed closely by West Coast states.  Oregon has the third-largest monthly increase in the price of regular unleaded.

For the 10th consecutive week, Hawaii is the only state with regular unleaded at or above $4 a gallon.  For the ninth week in a row, there are no states with an average below $3 per gallon, and no states within a dime of this mark for the fifth week in a row.

Hawaii has the most expensive gas in the country for the 74th consecutive week at $4.21, followed by California at $3.98 (up a penny and second most expensive for the sixth week in a row), Alaska at $3.83, New York at $3.77, and Connecticut at $3.77. 

Washington is 10th up from 16th last week at $3.64 (up three cents).  Oregon is 13th up from 18th last week at $3.63 (up four cents).  Often, Oregon is among the top 10 most expensive states, but has been out of the top 10 since October of last year.

Idaho is 41st down from 40th last week at $3.37 (up a penny).  South Carolina has the cheapest gas in the nation for the fourth week in a row at $3.25 a gallon (up two cents)

Diesel prices are down slightly in many markets.  The national average loses two cents to $3.98 a gallon. Oregon's average slips a penny to $3.92.  Diesel is at or above $4 a gallon in 27 states, down from 29 last week.  Hawaii is most expensive at $4.84, followed by Connecticut at $4.46, New York at $4.43, Pennsylvania at $4.36, and Vermont at $4.35.  California is 15th up from 16th last week at $4.10 (down a penny). 

Idaho is 18th up from 21st at $4.07 (down a penny).  Washington is 27th for the second consecutive week at $4.02 (down a penny).  Oregon is 33rd down from 32nd last week at $3.92.  A year ago, the national average for diesel was $4.03 and Oregon's was $4.05.

For the latest local gas prices as reported by fellow drivers, visit KTVZ.COM's Pump Patrol.

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