In the past week, Oregon's average price for a gallon of regular gasoline gained almost six cents and now stands at $3. At the same time the national average shot up by almost a dime a gallon to $2.79.
"While these numbers might be a bit discouraging, there is some good news," said AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Elliott Eki. "Pricing activity in California often signals what the rest of the country can expect. Since April 2nd, California's statewide average price gained only slightly more than a penny a gallon. This week, California prices remain flat and in many metro areas, they're inching downward. That could be a signal that pump prices nationwide may begin to level off and even retreat very soon."
Of Oregon's four measured metropolitan areas, Medford/Ashland has the highest average price at $3.06, up eight cents from a week ago. Portland's metro area average is still below the $3 mark.
The U.S. Department of Energy Tuesday released its report, predicting that the national average gasoline price will peak at about $2.87 in May and average about $2.81 through the summer driving months. The recent price surge, the agency said, was due to higher crude oil prices, unplanned refinery outages and an increase in demand as well as a decline in gasoline imports.
At $3, Oregon's average gasoline price is tied with Hawaii's at 4th highest in the nation. California has the highest average price at $3.28 followed by Washington at $3.03 and Nevada at $3.02. Idaho's statewide average price moved up a dime to $2.76. New Jersey, the only other state banning self-serve, has the lowest statewide average price at $2.60. The national average diesel price is up to $2.90 per gallon; California's inched up to $3.14; Washington's is $3.03; Idaho's is up to $2.99, and Nevada's is $2.97. Oregon's average diesel price is $2.88.