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Prices jumping: Is gas below $2 finally over?

Posted at 9:10 AM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 09:22:27-05

Many drivers across Southern Ohio woke up Wednesday morning to find their local gas stations up to $1.99 for regular, their highest price in 3 months.

In some areas, it was a 30 cent jump overnight.  On average, pump prices moved up 20 cents a gallon.

Cincinnati-area prices are now 40 cents above where they were in late January, when most stations were in the $1.50 to $1.60 range.

Why the Increase?

Sure, we are spoiled.  Gas prices averaged $2.75 a gallon one year ago, and just a few years ago, we were paying $4 a gallon.  We are still half that price.

But AAA says the days of sub-$2 gas could soon be over, for this Spring, due mostly to seasonal factors.  Prices have moved up steadily since early February for several reasons:

  • OPEC is making noise about cutting production, which has sent the price of crude oil up 20% the past few weeks.
  • Spring driving season will start the week before Easter, when gasoline demand takes a dramatic spike from the slow days of January and February.  A record number of drivers are expected on the roads this Easter (due to those low gas prices and high airfares).
  • And refineries are starting to slow down production, as they prepare for the switch from Winter to Summer fuel blends.  Summer fuel starts to ship around April 1st.

Put all those factors together, and we could soon see gas over $2 a gallon for the first time since last fall.

But keep telling yourself:  it's still a lot cheaper than 2 years ago. 

That way you don't waste your money.

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