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At end of summer driving season, gasoline prices are lower than past two years

gas pricesAs the Labor Day weekend approaches, the U.S. national average retail price for regular gasoline has fallen 13 cents per gallon below the apparent summer peak of $3.68 per gallon, reached on July 22. Last Monday, August 26, it was $3.55 per gallon, despite an increase in crude oil prices since early July. At $3.55 per gallon, the average U.S. retail price for regular gasoline is 19 cents below last year’s price at that time and 3 cents below the level in 2011 leading into the holiday weekend. According to the American Automobile Association, gasoline prices were $3.59 per gallon August 29.

Prices for retail gasoline in the United States currently vary significantly by state and country. Some of the highest gasoline prices in the United States are on the West Coast (see map). However, a key part of the recent decrease in the U.S. average regular gasoline price has been the declining retail gasoline prices on the West Coast. According to EIA data, on August 26, the West Coast average retail price for regular grade gasoline was $3.75 per gallon, 21 cents per gallon lower than the $3.95-per-gallon average on July 22.

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