By John Raffel
MARION – Gas prices continue to soar locally according to Triple A
As of May 19, the AAA national average was $4.589 per gallon while the state average was $4.579.
As of that same day, average gas prices per gallon in area local counties was as follows:
$4.567 in Osceola County, $4.587 in Lake County $4.562 in Wexford County, $4.594 in Missaukee County; $4.587 in Roscommon County, $4.564 in Gladwin County, $4.580 in Clare County; $4.584 in Mecosta County, $4.583 in Isabella County and $4.579 in Midland County.
The state average this time a year ago was $2.943 per gallon.
With the national average cost for regular gas steadily climbing, the increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which is hovering near $110 a barrel, Triple A said.
“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, in a statement. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”
According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 3.6 million bbl to 225 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also decreased slightly from 8.86 million b/d to 8.7 million b/d. Typically, lower demand would put downward pressure on pump prices. However, crude prices remain volatile, and as they surge, pump prices follow suit. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices stay above $105 per barrel, Triple A said.