With only a penny increase on the week, the national gas price average saw the smallest one-week jump since mid-February, though Nevada’s ranks fifth nationally in price, AAA announced Monday. For the last eight weeks, weekly jumps ranged anywhere between a nickel and a nearly a quarter, AAA said.
“On the week, 30 states saw pump price increases or decreases of three cents or less which helped keep the national average relatively steady, but motorists shouldn’t get their hopes up just yet,” Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokeswoman, said in a news release.
“Gasoline stocks nationwide continue to tighten, measuring below levels compared to the same time in the past three years,” Casselano said. “While imports are helping and West Coast refinery maintenance is nearly finished for the time being, it’s too early to know if this is enough to keep state averages from leveling off just yet.”
Today’s national average is $2.84, which is a penny more than last Monday, 23 cents more expensive than last month, but only eight cents more than a year ago.
But pump prices in the West Coast region are the highest in the nation, with all of the region’s states landing on the nation’s top 10 most expensive list. California ($4.03) and Hawaii ($3.59) are the most expensive markets. Washington ($3.46), Oregon ($3.36), Nevada ($3.34), Alaska ($3.26) and Arizona ($3.04) follow.
All prices in the region have increased on the week, with the exception of Hawaii and Nevada.
Prices in Pahrump on Monday ranged from $2.99 to $3.09, according to a survey from gasbuddy.com Las Vegas prices ranged from $3.01 to $3.37. In Tonopah, the prices spanned a range from $3.21 to $3.49 while in Beatty, the range was $3.23 to $3.35.
The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.50), Mississippi ($2.51), Louisiana ($2.53), South Carolina ($2.53), Arkansas ($2.53), Texas ($2.57), Oklahoma ($2.59), Missouri ($2.59), Virginia ($2.60) and Tennessee ($2.60).
In the prior week, gasoline prices had jumped 18 cents a gallon in Nevada, pushing the statewide average for regular unleaded fuel to $3.26 per gallon at the time. With the increase, Nevada has the fourth-most-expensive gasoline prices in the country, well above the $2.83 national average, according to AAA last week.
At one point since April 1, the average price of gasoline in Nevada had increased 28 cents a gallon.
The surge in gasoline prices is largely tied to two factors: increased demand and spring maintenance at California refineries, according to AAA spokesman Sergio Avila.
“With the rising gas prices in California, we, unfortunately, see the residuals because we get most of our gas here in Las Vegas from the California area,” Avila said. “So that’s part of it, but there’s also been some routine and some not-so-routine maintenance happening in refineries in California. That has dwindled down the supply to where we have a lot more demand.”
Increased travel has also helped drive prices up, as summer-like travel conditions have been experienced on roads in the region, Avila said.
Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal contributed to this report.