AAA: Gas Plateau May Be Short-Lived

By: Staff
By: Staff

Gas prices across Nevada may seem relatively stable, but a month-to-month comparison shows a 7-cent increase at the pump, when compared to the last AAA survey on April 12.

According to the latest report from AAA Nevada, which tracks fuel costs as a service to consumers, the average price in Nevada for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.94.

Last year at this time, the average price in Nevada was $3 a gallon. That means there has been a year-to-year increase of 94 cents. The national average price of $3.95 is up 16 cents, which is $1.04 more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $2.91. The national average price has not been this high since July 2008.

The highest gas price in Nevada’s metro areas tracked by AAA is in Sparks. The price there is $4.09 for regular unleaded, up 10 cents when compared to last month’s report. Las Vegas has the Silver State’s lowest pump price found in metro areas tracked by AAA. Drivers there are seeing an average price of $3.88 for regular unleaded, a 5-cent increase from last month.

“After hitting a plateau of sorts for several days last week, prices at the pump have dipped slightly,” explained AAA Nevada spokesperson Matt Skryja. “It’s tough to say how long this dip will last, given that the lower oil prices of last week have now rebounded a bit. Motorists need to keep in mind that we are just a couple of weeks away from the Memorial Day weekend. This holiday is typically considered the start of the summer driving season, when prices are traditionally higher.”

Over the past two weeks, demand for gasoline has stayed relatively steady across the United States. A drop in crude oil prices last week spurred speculation among analysts about whether that would lead to lower prices at the pump. While last week’s correction in crude oil prices was significant, there is still supply instability in the Middle East and North Africa region, which has driven much of the year’s gains. This has prompted a number of analysts to suggest that, while this correction was warranted in the near-term, conditions may be in place for crude oil prices to return to higher levels in the long-term.

Nevada has the 11th highest average price in the lower 48 states. Among the lower 48 states, the highest average price reported by AAA is in California, Connecticut and Illinois, where the average prices are $4.26. Twelve states now have their average prices at $4 or more a gallon for regular gasoline. Seventeen other states are within 10 cents of the $4 mark.

The least expensive gasoline in the country was found in Casper, Wyo., where, the average price is $3.43. Wailuku, Hawaii, holds the dubious crown for the highest average price in the nation, at $4.96 per gallon. Among the lower 48 states, the highest average price reported by AAA is in Eureka, Calif., where the average price is $4.44.

AAA Monthly Gas Price Averages: May 10, 2011

City/State/RegionPriceMonthly Change
NATIONAL $3.95+ .16
NEVADA $3.94+ .07
LAS VEGAS $3.88 + .05
NORTH LAS VEGAS $3.89 + .06
HENDERSON $3.91+ .06
RENO $4.07+ .10
CARSON CITY $4.03+ .13
SPARKS $4.09+ .10
ELKO $3.93+ .19

LOS ANGELES $4.28+ .10
PHOENIX $3.75+ .13
SALT LAKE CITY $3.86+ .15
SAN FRANCISCO $4.33+ .09
ST. GEORGE, UT $3.69+ .16

To get the best mileage possible, AAA recommends keeping tires at the proper pressure suggested by the vehicle manufacturer, performing routine maintenance and making sure fluids are clean and belts and hoses are in good repair. The way you drive can also impact fuel economy. Smooth driving to avoid sudden stops and starts, planning errands and lightening your load also help conserve gasoline.

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