The bad news is gas increased more than a nickel last week. The good news is Arizona has the cheapest prices in the United States.
|http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/images/photos/2008/05/14/ifdd2bej.gif" alt="Map created by Scott Kirchhofer, East Valley Tribune" />|
The statewide average for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.53 Wednesday, an increase of 6 cents from last week. That compares with a national average of $3.76 a gallon, an increase of more than 11 cents from last week.
At $3.51 a gallon on average, most of the East Valley pumps are even less expensive than the rest of the state. Scottsdale motorists, however, are paying $3.56 a gallon.
“There are a couple of reasons our statewide average is the lowest in the nation,” said Linda Gorman, AAA Arizona public affairs manager, in statement. “First, Arizona stations are getting rid of any remaining winter fuel-blend supplies, as we switch to our more expensive summer blends this week. Secondly, demand for fuel in Southern California is down for the first time in five years. As a result, refiners are scaling back production and are moving excess product to Arizona.”
Tucson drivers continue to benefit from the state’s lowest pump prices at $3.46 a gallon, while in Flagstaff the average price remains the highest in Arizona at $3.65.
Connecticut drivers currently pay the most for fuel in the United States at an average $3.98 a gallon.
Crude oil continues to be the underlying factor in rising cost of fuel, Gorman said. It has doubled in the last 12 months, reaching above $120 a barrel.
Demand at the pumps is also a primary force behind gasoline prices.
Lackluster demand could help prices level off and lower, while a surge in consumption could result in continued price increases, Gorman said.