Gas Prices Continue Upward Climb

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gas prices continue to rise. As of April 17, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas reached $2.41 — 2 cents more expensive than one week ago, 12 cents more than one month ago and 30 cents more than one year ago, according to the AAA Newsroom. This price is the highest in 2017, and has increased for 20 consecutive days.

Gas prices increased in 43 states and Washington, D.C., over the last week. This was most prevalent on the East Coast, where refiners finished the seasonal turnaround, which prompted significant price increases.

The nation's top 10 least expensive markets are: South Carolina ($2.13), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.18), Alabama ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.18), Oklahoma ($2.18) Missouri ($2.19), Louisiana ($2.21), Kansas ($2.23) and Virginia ($2.23). The top 10 markets with the largest monthly increases include: Indiana (18 cents), Texas (18 cents), Michigan (17 cents), Kentucky (17 cents), Ohio (16 cents), Illinois (16 cents), Florida (15 cents), Wisconsin (15 cents), Colorado (15 cents) and Delaware (14 cents).

The country's six most expensive gas prices remain on the West Coast: Hawaii ($3.06), California ($3.01), Washington ($2.90), Alaska ($2.90), Oregon ($2.75) and Nevada ($2.69). Compared to one year ago, four states in this region are experiencing some of the country's biggest year-over-year price jumps: Washington (58 cents), Alaska (57 cents), Oregon (54 cents) and Hawaii (45 cents). This region could see prices reach $3 per gallon this month due to maintenance at multiple refineries in the area, AAA predicted.

States in the Rockies saw week-over-week price increases in Colorado (5 cents), Idaho (4 cent) and Wyoming (3 cents). Rising prices in Colorado were due to planned and unplanned maintenance at Phillips 66's Borger refinery in the Texas Panhandle.

Some parts of the Great Lakes region experienced weekly price declines: Michigan (7 cents), Indiana (7 cents), Ohio (6 cents) and Illinois (2 cents). Meanwhile, some Central states saw slight weekly price increases: Nebraska (2 cents), North Dakota (2 cents) and Minnesota (2 cents).

Regional volatility and the early turnaround by regional refineries prompted significant monthly increases in Indiana (18 cents), Michigan (17 cents), Kentucky (17 cents), Ohio (16 cents), Illinois (16 cents) and Wisconsin (15 cents).

In the South and Southeast, some of the cheapest gas prices in the country can be found in South Carolina ($2.13), Mississippi ($2.17), Tennessee ($2.18), Alabama ($2.18), Arkansas ($2.18), and Louisiana ($2.21), despite recent increases in each state's respective average price.

In the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, Pennsylvania ($2.64), Washington, DC ($2.55), New York ($2.52) and Connecticut ($2.48) all placed on the list of top 15 most expensive markets.

The region made its final switch to summer-blend gasoline last week, which caused states in the area to top the list of largest weekly increases: Delaware (9 cents), Vermont (6 cents), Maryland (6 cents), North Carolina (5 cents), Rhode Island (5 cents), Maine (5 cents) and Pennsylvania (5 cents). Compared to this time last year, New Jersey (43 cents), Delaware (36 cents), and Pennsylvania (35 cents) are seeing significant price increases at the pump. This is likely due to the region's move toward less substantial gasoline imports, according to AAA.

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