Record-breaking crude oil rates in recent weeks were a sign of higher pump prices to follow. On Tuesday the average price of regular gasoline nationally hit the $3-a-gallon mark.
The pump price for regular unleaded has been inching closer to the record high set in September 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when a gallon of regular unleaded sold for $3.05 a gallon.
The average price of regular unleaded gasoline was $3 a gallon on Tuesday, up 2 cents from Tuesday, July 18, according to AAA, of Hawthorne, Fla.
Regular unleaded is up 15 cents a gallon from one month ago, when it sold for an average of $2.85 a gallon. One year ago, consumers were paying an average of $2.29 a gallon, 71 cents less than Tuesday's average.
Midgrade gasoline was selling for an average of $3.18 a gallon on Tuesday, 2 cents higher than one week ago. Premium gasoline was $3.30, 3 cents higher than one week ago.
Diesel fuel also passed the $3-a-gallon mark, selling for $3.01 a gallon.
AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report gathers data from as many as 85,000 filling stations nationwide and posts its findings on www.fuelgaugereport.com.
Crude oil rates remain high but have gone down since last week, trading at $75.22 a barrel on Tuesday.
Drivers in California continue to feel the hardest pinch at the pump, with regular unleaded gasoline selling for $3.69 a gallon at one station in Coronado, Calif. -- the highest price found in the nation. Meanwhile, in Douglas, Wyo., drivers spotted gasoline selling for $2.65 a gallon, the lowest price found in the nation.
GasPriceWatch.com uses volunteer spotters to watch gasoline prices nationwide. More than 426,000 prices have been listed this week.
You may e-mail Erin Robinson at [email protected]