Fuel prices continue to climb
Feb 23,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

As forecast last week, fuel prices in the western states have joined the upward movement. In the past week the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose by three and a half cents to $2.26. The Oregon average went up by slightly more than four cents to $2.46.

Of the four measured Oregon metropolitan areas, the greatest average price increase last week was recorded in Eugene-Springfield where the price went up more than eight cents per gallon. In Portland, the average price jumped by about six cents, while in Salem it went up by less than two cents per gallon.

Average fuel prices in East Coast and Gulf Coast states are a bit cheaper than they were at this time a year ago. In Midwest and Rocky Mountain States, the prices are about the same as a year ago. But, in the Pacific Coast states, average prices are anywhere from 20-to-30 cents per gallon higher.

The price of crude oil remains below $60 per barrel, but gasoline prices are rising as the industry prepares for the transition from winter grade fuels to the more expensive, cleaner burning summer blends.

At $2.46, Oregon's average gasoline price is 5th highest in the nation. Hawaii has the highest average price at $2.84, followed by California at $2.71, Nevada at $2.51 and Washington at $2.48. Idaho's average price is up to $2.21. South Carolina has the lowest statewide average price at $2.09. During the past week, the national average diesel price nudged up to $2.57 per gallon. Idaho's average diesel price held at $2.67, Washington's rose four cents to $2.85, California's went up two cents to $3.05, Nevada's fell to $2.79 and Oregon's remained at $2.68.