Motorists encounter record prices at gas pump
After witnessing declining gas prices in the early part of the summer, motorists throughout Utah and across the Intermountain West are experimenting sticker shock.
According to AAA Utah, the average price of regular, self-serve gasoline has returned to an all-time record high territory at locations throughout the state.
In Carbon County, motorists are paying an average of $2.29 per gallon to refuel at local gasoline pumps.
Gasoline pump prices jumped eight cents in the last month to reach an average of $2.30 per gallon in Utah. The average cost ties the all-time record high statewide price set on May 4.
One year ago, the average price at the gas pumps in Utah registered at $1.91 per gallon.
Several market forces appear to be influencing what consumers are paying for fuel, pointed out AAA Utah.
The price of crude oil, the raw material from which gasoline is made, remains high.
Fuel consumption also tends to be higher during the summer as people take more leisure trips. Increased demand often leads to higher retail prices.
After reaching an all-time record high price on July 13 at $2.32 per gallon, the national average cost for motor vehicle fuel dropped slightly to the current price of $2.31. The current price is 18 cents higher than last month's $2.13.
A year ago the average national price for regular, self-serve gasoline was $1.92 per gallon.
All of the Utah cities surveyed by AAA experienced increasing prices for regular, self-serve gasoline since the last report on June 14.
Vernal motorists experienced the smallest increase, two cents, for a current price of $2.32,
Provo's price jumped four cents to a new average of $2.23.
Ogden's motorists are paying nickel more on average this month for gasoline.
The current price in Ogden is $2.25. The prices in St. George and Moab both increased six cents.
The average price in St. George is $2.33.
The average price is Moab is $2.41.
Logan's price increased eight cents to the current average, $2.31.
Salt Lake City motorists saw a whopping double digit increase of 11 cents since last month's survey. The average price of regular, self-service gasoline in Salt Lake is now $2.26.
Summer motorists are experiencing price increases throughout the Intermountain West.
Idaho's current average price for regular, self-serve gasoline is $2.35, a 10 cent increase from last month.
Montana's price jumped seven cents to the current $2.32.
Wyoming's motorists are paying 12 cents more with an average price of $2.26.
Colorado's motorists are tightening their belt. The current average price of $2.30 is 18 cents higher than last month.
Arizona's price increased 15 cents to the current average $2.39.
Nevada's average pump price increased 19 cents to reach $2.52.
California motorists saw prices skyrocket by 23 cents to the new average of $2.59.
"The recent spike in gas prices is a brutal blow to the consumer," said AAA Utah spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough. "The best thing you can do in times like these in shop around to make sure you're paying the cheapest price available."
AAA's fuel gauge report is one of the most comprehensive retail gasoline survey available, with more than 85,000 self-service stations contacted nationwide on a daily basis. Data is provided in cooperation with OPIS Energy Group and Wright Express.