After seeing the lowest gas prices in 10 months in December, motorists are getting a bit of a surprise at the pump this week. Gas prices have never jumped this much at the beginning of a year, according to AAA Arizona.
East Valley drivers have seen a nearly 9-cent jump to $3.228 per gallon, 8.9 cents higher than last week. The nationwide fuel price average increased 6.5 cents to $3.319 per gallon.
This week, the U.S. and European Union (EU) issued economic sanctions against Iran that pulled the price of crude oil above $100 per barrel. The country responded by conducting military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz, which accounts for the passage of approximately one-third of all global seaborne oil. There are concerns over possible supply disruptions.
Tucson and Yuma hold the low and high state fuel averages at $3.108 and $3.415 per gallon, respectively. Utah and California hold the low and high price extremes for the lower 48 states at $2.947 and $3.666 per gallon, respectively.