Connecticut, national gas prices take a u-turn

In a classic case of supply and demand, Connecticut drivers are seeing a steady increase in the average price of gas at pump after enjoying relatively lower prices for more than a year.

Within the last two weeks, motorists here and nationally have seen gas prices make a U-turn and the price spike is not unexpected. What goes down must eventually come up: prices are starting to increase because many refineries are off-line for summer maintenance. They’re also preparing for the production of the more expensive, environmentally-friendly summer blends.

When refineries are off-line, there’s less gas in the pipeline. Couple lower production with the increased price of crude oil — the driving force of prices at the pump — to around $38 a barrel; and the start of the summer drive season, you have a bump at the pump.

Today’s average Connecticut price of $1.95 a gallon is up $.09 cents compared to this time last week and up $.02 cents compared to this time last month. The good news: prices are down 59 cents compared to this time last year.

Nationally, we’re seeing a similar picture. Today’s average national price of $1.94 a gallon is up $.13 cents compared to this time last week; and up $.24 cents compared to this time last month. Compared to last year, however, average prices are down about $.50 cents.

AAA’s weekly survey of prices in the Nutmeg State’s four regional areas as follows:

  • Greater Bridgeport/Stamford $2.33

  • New Haven/Meriden $1.92

  • Greater Hartford $1.92

  • New London/Norwich $1.94

  • Statewide Average $1.95

California and Hawaii at $2.59 and $2.55 continue to lead the pack of states with the highest average prices. New Jersey and South Carolina at $1.29 and $1.94 are the states with the lowest prices. Connecticut has dropped to 19th place from 15th in terms of highest gas prices in the nation.

AAA Northeast is a not-for-profit auto club with 61 offices in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey providing more than 5.1 million local AAA members with travel, insurance, finance, and auto-related services.