Gas Prices Surge but Still Way Lower Than Last Year

Gas Stations Love Low Prices
Wilfredo Lee/AP

By Jennifer Saba

The average price of regular grade gasoline rose 21 cents in the past two weeks, bringing it to $2.54 a gallon, according to the Lundberg survey released Sunday.

Prices bottomed out on Jan. 23.

However, the price for gasoline is still lower by 97 cents than it was a year ago, when the average was about $3.51 a gallon.

Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the survey, noted that the cost for crude oil is mostly unchanged. She cited other factors that are accountable for the climb at the pump: Refiners and retailers are making more money on gasoline and deadlines for regulations affecting the summer blend are starting to come in.

The lowest-price gasoline in the survey area of the 48 contiguous U.S. states was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at $2.16 a gallon. The highest price was in Los Angeles, at $3.48 a gallon.

Prices are highest in Los Angeles because of the summer blend regulation deadline and California's global warming laws, Lundberg said.