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Gas Prices Are Going Up, Folks

Ever since that incredible summer of $4 gas, prices have been quietly creeping up again. In the next few weeks, they'll hit two-year highs.


Ever since that incredible summer of $4 gasoline ended, prices have been quietly creeping up again. Before the year is out, they're likely to hit their highest levels since 2008.



USA Today reports:

Nationwide, a gallon of regular unleaded gas averaged $2.977 on Friday and more than $3 a gallon in 20 states. That's up nearly 10 cents the past week and 34 cents higher than December 2009, AAA spokesman Troy Green says.

Benchmark crude oil opens today at $88.37 a barrel. If crude crosses $90 for the first time since 2008 and continues to rise, as many industry experts forecast, the average price of regular unleaded could hit $3.15 or higher by year's end.

Gasoline is already at or near that in California, Connecticut, Maine, New York, Rhode Island and Washington.

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Of course, compared to other countries, the price of gas here is still incredibly cheap, largely because our gas tax is so low. I'm actually an advocate of putting a $4 floor under gas prices with a variable tax, so we would have less driving and more money for infrastructure and public transportation projects, and people could better estimate the savings they would enjoy by buying a Leaf.