Average Gas Price Rises 21 Cents in 2 Weeks, Still Down $1.11 From Year Ago

AASHTO Journal, 20 February 2015

U.S. Energy Information Administration

The national average retail price of gasoline reached $2.274 on Feb. 16, the Energy Information Agency said, for a gain of more than 8 cents in a week and nearly 21 cents in two weeks. But the latest U.S. pump price was still down $1.106 from where it stood at the same point in 2014, the EIA said.

While the price bounce has been significant this month, retail prices remain well below where they were just last autumn. And even the EIA’s latest survey of fueling stations shows the average gas price still under $2 in the Rocky Mountain region and about $2.07 along the Gulf Coast.

The rising cost to fill up vehicles comes as some refineries have curbed output as normal this time of year for winter maintenance and to prepare for seasonal switchovers to higher-cost summer fuel blends.

It also comes as steelworkers have struck some refineries, though specialists say that is having little actual effect on pump prices.

The EIA report shows average retail diesel prices rising more slowly. Diesel rose 3 cents a gallon in the week ending Feb. 16 to $2.865, and the EIA said it was $1.124 lower than a year earlier.

The EIA’s weekly on-highway average diesel prices is widely used to set fuel surcharges on freight bills by the nation’s trucking companies, although some opt to write their regional EIA prices into freight contracts. So while those fuel fees are now rising, freight shippers are facing significantly reduced fuel bills from most of 2014.

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