Area gas prices expected to hold in $3 range through holiday weekend

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

Area gas prices are expected to remain around $3 per gallon as the holiday weekend approaches, according to American Automobile Association (AAA) reps and reports from

According to area stats, pump prices averaged $3.05 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the last 72 hours, reflecting a 3-cent increase over last week.

As of press time, the national per-gallon regular unleaded tally was at $2.97.

Spokesmen at AAA said drivers in most markets are paying significantly more compared to last year’s Christmastime average of approximately $2.50.

With crude oil hovering around $90 per barrel for the first time in two years, gas prices are following, in spite of the winter trends that usually result in cheaper fuel.

Gasoline shortages have been reported on the East Coast and other U.S. markets, which experts say is linked to refinery shutdowns.

Meanwhile, the AAA says area prices will likely hold through Sunday, Dec. 26. Where they go from there will be known as crude oil prices stabilize.

“It’s hard to say where prices are going to go,” Beth Mosher of AAA said.  “In the near term, people should expect prices to remain about where they are.”

Stats continue to show Illinois among states with the most expensive gasoline. Some of  the cheapest are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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