UTAH GAS PRICES HITTING RECORD HIGHS


22 States Have Lower Gas Prices Than Utah, Reports AAA
SALT LAKE CITY, June 10, 2008 According to the latest report from AAA Utah, at $3.98 for a gallon of regular unleaded, motorists are now paying the highest average price ever reported in the state. With 22 states now paying less on average than Utahns, drivers here have the dubious honor of being in the top half of all the states’ average prices.
Motorists have endured almost daily increases in gasoline prices throughout the country, and Utah is certainly no exception. According to AAA, which tracks gasoline prices as a service to consumers, Utah’s average price of $3.98 is 32 cents higher than last month’s report on May 13.
The nationwide average price for regular, self-serve gasoline is a record-setting $4.04. This is 31 cents higher than last month’s report and 96 cents higher than a year ago. California has the highest average price at $4.47. Missouri has the lowest average price at $3.84.
“There are several reasons for the continued record-breaking pace of gasoline prices,” said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA Utah spokesperson. “These include the low value of the U.S. dollar compared with international currencies, the growing demand for gasoline and oil in Asia, and the heavy trading of oil and other commodities in the market.”
Crude oil continues to drive retail fuel prices. The price of crude fell from $135 a barrel, set on May 22 with news of decreasing numbers of Memorial Day travelers as well as lower gasoline consumption. Those reports, in addition to the study by the Commodities Future Trading Commission, caused traders to wonder if oil was becoming highly over priced.
But the commodity market is volatile, especially oil. Even though there was a decrease in demand, the reported threat by Israel to attack Iran led oil prices to jump by almost $11 on Friday, June 6th, the biggest one-day gain ever in dollar terms for the price of oil. The rule of thumb in the crude oil - gasoline relationship is for every dollar a barrel of crude oil goes up, gasoline usually follows with an increase of 2.5 cents a gallon.
All Utah communities monitored by AAA saw increases in their average gasoline prices over the last month. Moab’s average price is now $4.06, 36 cents higher than last month’s report. St. George reports an average price of $4.05. This is 51 cents higher than a month ago. Vernal’s price increased 41 cents to the current price of $4.01.
Prices along the Wasatch Front also moved higher this past month. Provo’s price jumped 37 cents to the current price of $3.94. Salt Lake motorists are now paying $3.92 a gallon. This is 42 cents higher than May’s report. Ogden’s average price is $3.94, a 38-cent increase. Logan’s average price is $4.02, 37 cents higher than last month.
States in the Intermountain West are all experiencing increased gasoline prices. Idaho’s price increased 35 cents to today’s average of $4.02. Montana’s price is now $3.96, a 33-cent increase from last month’s report. Wyoming drivers are now paying $3.87 a gallon. This is 35 cents higher than a month ago. Colorado’s average price is $3.96, a 30-cent increase from May’s report. Arizona’s price is $4.02. This is 50 cents higher than last month. Prices in Nevada increased 43 cents to the current average price of $4.15. California’s average price is $4.47, a 53-cent increase.
One way consumers can reduce the amount they spend on fuel is to shop aggressively for the lowest price. AAA Utah has a tool that can help. Located online at www.aaa.com/gasprices, the AAA Fuel Finder has real time information on gas prices at more than 85,000 gas stations throughout the United States.
AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report is the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with over 85,000 self-service stations surveyed everyday nationally. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express, LLC.
AAA Utah offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, financial services and consumer discounts to more than 180,000 members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.