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AAA: California skewing national gas price average
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Jul 14, 2015

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

While California gas prices have prompted official state action, motor club AAA said drivers in most states are seeing relative stability at the pump.

The motor club reports a national average retail price for a gallon of gas at a fraction of a cent above $2.77 per gallon, about 3 cents lower than one month ago but up marginally from this day last week. California, where a 22-cent spike in prices since Friday generated official state attention, is skewing the national average higher with drivers in parts of the state paying more than $4 per gallon.

"Early reports indicate that the despite refineries exceeding last year's production rates, higher than expected demand for gasoline has resulted in significant drawdowns in supply and distribution systems have been unable to keep pace," the motor club said in a weekly status report.

Patrick DeHaan, a senior analyst at price watchdog group GasBuddy, said in a separate statement that "panic set in" thanks to refinery issues in the western U.S. market.

AAA said only a handful of states have seen sharp swings in either direction since last week, with prices moving up or down on average 2 cents in 42 states. More than half of the 50 U.S. states have seen the average price of gasoline dip.

The highest national average price for the year was set June 15 at $2.80 per gallon. The national average price on this date in 2014 was $3.61 per gallon.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a market report for June it expected retail prices to average $2.44 for full-year 2015 and $2.55 for next year.

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