Local gas prices rise to 4-month high

Without gas prices falling, the current price environment may be the floor for what could become a more expensive year than anticipated.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.34 in Lauderdale County and $2.32 in Colbert County, according to the survey.

"Since 2014, gas prices decreased as much as 20 cents in the first three weeks of the year", said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Prices stood at $2.65 per gallon on December 26 and have steadily gone up, resulting in an increase of $4.50 for a 15-gallon fill-up.

The average price of gasoline in Rhode Island is 32 cents higher than it was at this time past year, when it sold for $2.25 per gallon.

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Gas prices usually drop in January as holiday-related travel subsides, but this year they have risen significantly.

Another week, another hike in gas prices in the Meadville area. In fact, about half the price of gasoline is steered by the cost of crude, according to AAA.

"During the next few months, refineries will randomly conduct maintenance on their equipment and switch to a more-expensive-to-produce summer blend gasoline", Jenkins said. EIA's latest weekly report shows that USA crude inventories reached their lowest level in almost three years at 411.6 million barrels.

"There appears to be a recipe for even higher gas prices brewing, and the rising price of oil is just one of the key ingredients", said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA.

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