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Posts tagged: gas prices

Why Washington gas prices are so high

Washington and other West Coast states have the highest gas prices in the nation – in some case 50 cents higher than the national average.

In the Spokane area, average prices remain below $4 a gallon, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Guage Report.

On the state’s west side, average prices for a gallon of regular gasoline are $4.25 in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett market, $4.26 in Tacoma and $4.34 in Bellingham, AAA reports.

Statewide the average is $4.21, up 13 cents since last week. Meanwhile, the national average price dropped 5 cents to $3.73.

“The West Coast is zigging while the rest of the country is zagging,” said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

A shortage of gasoline tied to issues at the region’s refineries has caused prices to spike in the wholesale market, analysts said.

AAA: Average price of gas in Washington $3.98

The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gas in Washington is $3.98. That’s up 4 cents in a week and 46 cents in a month. It’s 18 cents higher than the national average.

Some metro prices from the AAA’s Monday survey: Bellingham $4.08, Bremerton $3.98, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $4.05, Tacoma $4.02, Olympia $4.03, Vancouver $4.02, Yakima $3.83, Tri-Cities $3.76, and Spokane $3.67.

Streak in gas price hikes ends at 27 days

Gasoline prices have finally dropped after 27 days. The nationwide average for regular unleaded slipped less than a penny to $3.764 per gallon today. That ended a streak of price hikes that began on Feb. 8.

Pump prices rose by more than 28 cents per gallon in that period, making gasoline the most expensive ever for this time of year, the Associated Press reports.

Gasoline already tops $4 per gallon in California, Alaska and Hawaii. It’s near the $4 mark in several other states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon and parts of Washington.

Despite the one-day drop, experts predict that gasoline will continue to rise over the next several weeks. The Oil Price Information Service predicts the nationwide average could peak at $4.25 per gallon in late April.

Spokane gas prices inch upward

Average retail gasoline prices in Spokane rose 0.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.72 per gallon Sunday, according to gasoline price website SpokaneGasPrices.com.

This compares with the national average that increased 6.3 cents per gallon in the past week, to $3.63.

Prices locally are 77.6 cents per gallon higher than at this point a year ago, and are 11.4 cents per gallon lower than one month ago.

Holiday gas prices down from spring highs

Motorists traveling around the Inland Northwest will be paying less for gasoline than they did even a month ago.

Prices are down by 20 to 50 cents per gallon since they peaked in late spring and over the Memorial Day holiday.

This week’s AAA survey shows the best deal on petrol is in southeast Idaho, where prices are at $3.39 per gallon in Pocatello and a dime higher in Idaho Falls.

The most expensive pump prices are in Ketchum/Hailey, where prices are at $3.87 per gallon.

In Washington state, AAA reports the average price for regular-grade fuel is $3.80 per gallon, down from $4 or more per gallon during the spring months.

Many pumps in Spokane were set at about $3.70 a gallon on Friday.

Prices in Boise were at $3.69, compared to $3.73 in Lewiston and $3.61 in Coeur d’Alene.

AAA Idaho Spokesman Dave Carlson says geographic isolation, wholesale suppliers and local retail competition influence pricing and disparities between cities.

Elsewhere, AAA reports the national average per-gallon price has dropped 44 cents since early May, compared to just a 13 cent decline in Idaho.

Where does the price of gas come from? An infographic from DOE

Today's interesting business-related chart or graphic comes by way of the feds, and from DOE in specific.

It's the typical breakdown, based on U.S. averages, for what goes into the cost of a gallon of gas.

This was created in winter of 2010 and the average price of gas has soared since then, but the general percentages seem not to have changed too much. Notably, only about 71 percent of the cost of gas at the pump is for the cost of crude oil.

The adjustment for Idaho and Washington's portion of taxes shows this.

This chart was created when the U.S. price for regular averaged about $2.86.

Today it's averaging $3.808, according to AAA.  In Washington the regular price average on Wednesday is $3.89. In Idaho it's $3.64, also from AAA data.

State, federal and local taxes account for about 56 center per gallon of regular in Washington. In Idaho the number is 43 cents per gallon of regular.

Average price of gas in Washington hits $3.88, according to AAA

The price of gas continues rising and the busiest driving season is a few months away.

The Associated Press reports the average price of gas in Washington has reached $3.88 per gallon of regular gas.

Prices quoted rely on a AAA auto club survey of stations and dealers across the state. The $3.88 figure is 6 cents more than last week and 24 cents up from a month ago.

And it's 11 cents higher than the national average.

The AP reports these average prices for cities:

  • Spokane $3.78
  • Bellingham $3.98
  • Bremerton $3.90
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $3.89
  • Tacoma $3.88
  • Olympia $3.91
  • Vancouver $3.81
  • Yakima $3.84

How to find the lowest local gas prices

Gas prices in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene show no sign of retreating. The price per gallon of regular jumped three cents in both cities from Monday to Tuesday.

From Tuesday to Wednesday the price jumped another three cents, on average, in Spokane.

That would be from $3.21 to $3.24 per gallon of regular, according to data found on GasBuddy.com.

Not surprising, you're going to find an increasing number of apps and tools to help find the best prices in your location.

We've found five which are either free or cost very little:  GasBuddy's own smartphone app; iGasUp, which uses data from Oil Price Information Service (OPIS); something called GasBook; an app called Poynt (which does more than gas pricing); and an iPhone only app called Local Gas Prices.

Auto and truck leasing are clearly tied to higher gas prices

Today's Spokesman Review story on the rise in gas prices indicates people are concerned enough to cut down on travel trips or use less expensive means of transport.

One follow-up received here came from LeaseTrader.com, a site to help companies finding or leasing vehicles.

Their comment on the impact of higher prices has two points to make: 

—Based off 2008 modeling, LeaseTrader.com believes drivers won't take specific action (reduced gas consumption, exiting lease contracts) until gas reaches $4 per gallon.

—During the summer of 2008, 78 per of all SUV/truck transfers were due to high gas prices (currently just 16 percent of SUV/truck transfers are because of gas prices).
 
The story we ran had comments confirming the first point.
And in a conversation yesterday with sales people with area auto dealers, the consensus was that leasing is up among vehicle customers. And gas prices do play a part.
 
The point, not included in today's article, is that many drivers will lease as a hedge against future gas prices. When taking out a lease instead of a three- or four-year vehicle loan, the leasor stands to come out the deal without holding a vehicle of diminished value.
 
In effect the lease lets the driver use the car or truck for two or three years, or sooner, if the costs of fuel keep rising to the point that a more economical choice is needed.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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