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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Problems at refineries and a gas supply shortage in California are being blamed for the latest surge in gas prices across the nation.
Prices have jumped nearly 20 cents in the last week alone. That has some gas stations in the Portland Metro area edging close to the $4 a gallon mark.
In Oregon, the statewide average is $3.51, according to the American Automobile Association. That’s one cent cheaper than Washington’s state average.
The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.52 on Tuesday.
“This price is 17 cents more expensive than one week ago, 22 cents more than one month ago and five cents more than the average price one year ago. Today’s price is the highest on record for this calendar day,” public relations manager Michael Green explained on the AAA website. “The 17-cent increase since last Monday is the most dramatic one-week spike in nearly two years and the twentieth largest weekly increase of the 21st century.”
The price surge is largely the result of higher crude oil prices and the rise of mid-continent retail gasoline prices, which fell dramatically to end the year and are now swinging back to the upside, according to AAA.
"The last time gas prices increased more rapidly was Feb. 25 to March 4, 2011 when violence in Northern Africa and the Middle East, most notably in Libya, sent oil and gasoline prices skyrocketing on fears of supply disruption," added Marie Dodds, Director of Government & Public Affairs for AAA. "The most dramatic one-week increase on record is Aug. 28 to Sept. 4, 2005, when prices rose 46 cents in the days following Hurricane Katrina."
Both Oregon and Washington remain out of the ten most expensive states. Oregon is currently the 24th most expensive state when it comes to buying gas and Washington is 26th.