WASHINGTON – U.S. drivers faced rising gasoline costs for the second week in a row, as the national pump price increased 1.1 cents over the last week to $1.928 a gallon on Monday, the government said.
The average price for regular unleaded gasoline is up 40 cents from a year ago and at the highest level since June 21, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (search) weekly survey of service stations.
After declining for six weeks straight at the beginning of the summer, gasoline prices are on the rise again as crude oil (search) costs go higher.
Oil accounts for almost half the cost of producing gasoline, and the $4 jump in the price for a barrel of crude over the last few weeks is being passed on to consumers at the pump.
Oil for delivery in August ended up 39 cents to $41.64 a barrel on Monday at the New York Mercantile Exchange (search). Crude surged to $41.90 at mid-day, the highest since oil hit a 21-year record of $42.45 on June 2.
The EIA's weekly report also showed the retail price for cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline, sold in polluted metropolitan areas, declined 0.3 cent to $2.014 a gallon.
The West Coast had the most expensive regular unleaded gasoline, with the price down 1.1 cents to $2.113 a gallon. San Francisco topped the agency's city survey of gasoline costs, but the price fell 2.3 cents to $2.197 a gallon.
The U.S. Gulf Coast had the cheapest fuel by region, with the price up 1.3 cents at $1.818 per gallon. Houston had the lowest pump price at $1.766 a gallon, up 1.8 cents.
The weekly report also showed gasoline prices were down 0.8 cent to $2.029 in New York City, up 0.2 cent to $1.983 in Miami, up 3.5 cents to $1.98 in Chicago, down 2.2 cents to $1.97 in Seattle, and up 3.2 cents to $1.894 in Cleveland.
Separately, the EIA survey said the average pump price for diesel fuel increased a slight 0.4 cent to $1.744 a gallon, up 31 cents from a year earlier.
Truckers on the West Coast paid the most for diesel fuel at $2.033 a gallon, down 0.7 cent from the prior week. The Gulf Coast states had the cheapest diesel at $1.674, up 0.3 cent.