2012: The Most Expensive Year Ever for Gasoline

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- U.S. drivers who feel like they've paid more for fuel in 2012 than ever before aren't just imagining it. The current yearly national average price for a gallon of gasoline, $3.63, is the highest average ever, according to GasBuddy.com, a real-time gas prices forum.

It is mathematically possible that 2012's average could still fall enough to avoid the record, but an "unthinkable calamity" would have to occur, GasBuddy noted. "We did the math, and the numbers don't lie," stated Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "Last year's average price of gasoline nationwide was $3.51 per gallon. The national average price of gasoline in the U.S. would have to drop to $2.35 per gallon or lower for every day for the remainder of 2012 in order for the 2012 yearly average price to fall below last year's level."

Another record was set last week when drivers faced the most expensive Thanksgiving prices ever, as CSNews Online previously reported.

"There's no question that the national numbers were elevated by major supply problems in California over the summer and more recently on the East Coast when [Superstorm] Sandy delivered major flood damage and power outages at northeastern refineries," noted Gregg Laskoski, another GasBuddy analyst. "It reminds us exactly how vulnerable our nation's fuel infrastructure is and why the U.S. should be looking to increase refining capacity where it is needed most."

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