"A little relief for Oregon drivers this week as gas prices here come down slightly, but the national average has set a new record high." AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, "The statewide average for regular unleaded in Oregon drops two cents this week to $3.41. But the national average is up three cents to $3.286, and set a record high of $3.287 on March 31. Oregon's current average is now about five cents lower than the record high of $3.462 set on March 17."
Crude oil prices are around $102 per barrel today, and fell below $100 during trading. Crude oil and prices of other commodities are lower for a second week on worries the U.S. is consuming less oil as well as other products. The dollar has strengthened slightly against the Euro and other currencies. The price of crude has been rising steadily for months as the greenback lost value against other currencies. Crude oil is traded in dollars, and a weak dollar makes crude more expensive.
Gas prices are expected to rise as we get into the spring and summer driving season. While $4 a gallon gas is still a possibility, it appears to be a little less likely now. We could see the national average top out around $3.50 later this spring. Prices at the pumps continue to be much higher than they were a year ago. The national average was $2.69 last year, while Oregon's average was $2.94.
National Average (Regular)
March 25, 2008 $3.430
Month Ago $3.166
Year Ago $2.685
Highest Recorded Avg. Price (3/31/08): Regular Unleaded $3.287
Oregon Statewide $3.409
Vancouver, WA $3.456
Oregon's gas prices are seventh highest in the nation, down from fifth highest last week. Hawaii has the most expensive gas in the country at $3.65 a gallon, followed by California at $3.64, Alaska at $3.52, Washington at $3.47, and Illlinois at $3.42. New Jersey has the least expensive gas in the country this week at $3.05 per gallon.
Diesel prices have also dropped slightly from record highs. The national average drops about half a cent this week to $4.022, while Oregon's average increases a cent to $3.98. The national record high for diesel is $4.037, set on March 22, while Oregon's record is $3.997 set on March 21. A year ago the national average for diesel was $2.85 and Oregon's average was $2.83. New York has the highest statewide average price for diesel again this week at $4.34, followed by Pennsylvania at $4.24 and Connecticut at $4.24. Oregon's diesel prices are the 31st most expensive in the nation, up from 32nd highest last week.