Gas Prices Surpass Year Ago Levels

August 21, 2012

Both the price of oil and retail gasoline increased again last week. As a result, motorists now pay more for a gallon of gas than they did this time last summer.

According to the latest reports from AAA South, Threats of violence continue to cause concerns of a supply disruption in the Middle East. Tensions between Iran, Israel and the U.S. escalated last week, resulting in higher oil prices. A barrel of oil settled Friday at $96.01, which was $3.14 more than the week prior.

Avery Ash, who is the AAA Manager of Regulatory Affairs, said on Monday afternoon that gas prices saw a very slight decrease from Sunday night to Monday morning. Ash said that hopefully that trend will continue.

“Triple A continues to expect that, given current conditions, prices at the pump will decline following Labor Day as the busy summer driving season comes to a close, and the switchover from summer blend to winter blend gasoline takes place.” said Ash.

With the spike in gas prices, there have been calls to release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve; Ash said that is not the correct course of action at this time.

“Rising gas prices and sanctions against Iran have prompted some to call for a release of oil from the strategic oil reserve. Triple A does not believe that this is an appropriate action at this time.” explained Ash. “The reserve is designed to be a tool to protect American motorists from emergency disruptions to supply and distribution; not as a response to high prices due to non-emergency supply and demand market fundamentals.”

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.72, a 3-cent increase from a week ago today. Georgia’s average of $3.64 jumped 7 cents from last week. According to the lowest price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Elbert County is $3.47, and in Washington the price is $3.57 a gallon.