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Gas falls below $3 a gallon at some stations

Fri., Jan. 6, 2012, 3:12 p.m.

The average price of regular gasoline in Spokane is $3.19 a gallon, according to AAA. But some local stations are pumping for as little as $2.99 a gallon, reports.

The average price in town is down from $3.58 a month ago, but up from $3.12 a year ago, according to AAA.

A gallon is selling for an average of $3.02 in Coeur d’Alene, down from $3.46 a month ago. A year ago, gas in the Lake City was selling for $2.93, on average.

At least one station in Coeur d’Alene had $2.96 gas this week, and many were at $2.99 a gallon, reported.

Nationally, gas prices hit an average of $3.35 a gallon today, the highest ever for this time of year.

Prices are rising again after falling in the last months of 2011. Motorists are buying less gas than they did a year ago, but pump prices are rising with higher oil prices.

Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, expects pump prices will average between $3.75 and $4.25 a gallon this year. They could be around $4 a gallon by spring.

The price of benchmark U.S. crude rose 19 percent in 2011 to an average of about $95 a barrel. Oil prices jumped above $100 a barrel this week on growing tension in the Persian Gulf. Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, if the U.S. and other nations enforce more economic sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program. The strait provides the only way out of the Persian Gulf for oil tankers carrying one-sixth of the world’s exports.

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