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Travel & Tourism
Salt Lake City – Utah gas prices are heating up after riding a see-saw this spring. According to recent AAA reports on gas prices, May showed the greatest increase in the country, ratcheting up $0.28 per gallon, June’s prices held relatively steady, and currently in July, the average price has increased $0.14.
The current average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Utah is $3.71. This is the same as yesterday’s price, $0.04 higher than a week ago, $0.14 higher than a month ago yet the same price as a year ago. The July AAA report shows Utah prices in the same range or higher as those from a year ago. Seventeen states report prices higher than those in Utah.
All Utah cities tracked by AAA as a service offered to consumers report double-digit increases since last month. The greatest gain, $0.15, was reported by both Ogden and Moab. Provo’s price rose $0.14. Logan and Salt Lake City’s prices ticked up $0.13, St. George’s average price moved up $0.12. Vernal experienced the smallest increase, $0.11.
While Utah gas prices shot up, the national average price is the same as last month’s AAA report. The national average price for regular gasoline is $3.65. This is $0.01 lower than yesterday, $0.02 below a week ago, and $0.18 higher than a year ago. Hawaii has the highest average price, $4.34. California reports the highest average price in the contiguous states, at $4.14. Hawaii, Alaska, California and Washington all register prices over the $4.00 per gallon mark. South Carolina motorists enjoy the lowest average price, $3.37.
Independence Day, with its large number of travelers, is often used as a benchmark for price trends in gasoline. This year the national average, $3.66, was the highest it has been since 2009, but it was well below the all-time high for the date of $4.10 in 2008.
“While Utah motorists know the pump price typically rises with the thermometer, the current price is the highest it has been on this date since 2008, the year Utah registered its highest prices ever,” said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson.
On a national level, domestic oil production continues to increase and there has been a relatively trouble-free season of production and distribution. Oil is a global commodity and the violence in Iraq continues to catch the attention of market watchers. Production in the south of Iraq remains unaffected which has calmed fears of a disruption in the supply and somewhat lessened the upward pressure on oil prices. As oil prices ease, coupled with lower wholesale gasoline prices in the US, some relief should be felt at the pump. At the close of formal trading yesterday, West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled $0.53 lower at $103.53.