Nevada retail gasoline prices at the pump are third highest in the nation, AAA Nevada said Tuesday.
The automobile insurance and roadside assistance provider said the price reached $3.22 per gallon statewide, an increase of 44 cents a gallon in a month, but also noted the run-up still leaves prices generally well below that of a year ago at this time. Carson City’s price, said AAA, was $3.12 a gallon and the only Nevada city registering lower was Elko at $3.07. Reno was highest at $3.27; Las Vegas registered $3.22.
The AAA report indicated the national price, by comparison, was $2.66 a gallon.
“Although regional refinery issues continue to push prices higher for western states, national AAA predicts that gas prices may not change significantly by the (Memorial Day) holiday weekend,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Nevada spokesperson. “This relatively stable price would result in the cheapest gas prices for Memorial Day travelers in at least five years.”
The report in some ways dovetailed with another by GasBuddy.com based on a survey of statewide prices showing on Sunday an increase the past week of 4.6 cents per gallon. Nationally, GasBuddy said, prices went up just four cents per gallon, Statewide, the average in the survey of 1,130 outlets completed Sunday was $3.21 per gallon.
“The rapid rise we’ve seen in the national average over the last several weeks appears to be slowing,” said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy petroleum analyst. “The rise in crude oil prices have been the largest explanation of the rise in gasoline prices over the past few weeks.” He said the boost has been enhanced in the west by the refinery problems, which still pose a threat to the region’s market.
“For the rest of the nation,” DeHaan said, “gasoline prices may begin to decline as crude oil prices have begun dropping.” He said at the end of last week they were some $4 a barrel off earlier recent highs.
GasBuddy.com noted all 50 states still have pump prices on average that are lower today than a year ago despite the recent run-up in motor fuel costs.
GasBuddy.com said the biggest drops from a year earlier were in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky, while the smallest declines versus the same time last year were in Nevada, Utah and California.