Gas prices have gone up for 32 consecutive days, according to American Automobile Association reports. Pumps in southern California exceeded $5 Monday while prices ranged locally from $3.77 to $3.85 in the Pottsville area, according to www.gasbuddy.com.
"It's terrible," Robert W. Wachter, chief executive officer of AAA Schuylkill County, Pottsville, said Monday. "It seems to be higher than usual and they're not leveling off. You go to a gas station now and tomorrow it's another price. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense."
Despite the rise in gas prices, Wachter said travel has increased since the start of the year.
State gas prices averaged $3.753 on Monday, up about 4 cents from last week and 25 cents from last month. The national average was $3.691, up about 13 cents from last week and 43 cents from last month.
Average prices last year were the highest on record. In February 2012, gas averaged $3.651 per gallon in Pennsylvania and $3.519 nationally.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration contributes the increase to the price of crude oil. According to the EIA, crude oil averaged $112 per barrel in 2012 and rose to $119 per barrel in early February.
With crude oil prices expected to fall to $109 per barrel in 2013 and $101 per barrel in 2014, gasoline prices are expected to average $3.55 in 2013 and $3.39 in 2014.
Based on these prices, the EIA expects the national average to peak this spring at a lower price than it did in 2011 and 2012 -- $3.98 and $3.94, respectfully.
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