WASHINGTON – The average retail price for U.S. gasoline climbed to within a few pennies of the all-time high, while the cost for diesel fuel hit a new record, the government said on Tuesday.
The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline increased 1.1 cents over the past week to $2.23 a gallon, up 33 cents from a year ago, according to a weekly survey of service stations by the Energy Information Administration (search).
The record price for gasoline is $2.28, set in mid-April.
U.S. antitrust regulators said on Tuesday the rise in gasoline prices since last year was mostly due to strong global oil demand and not wrongdoing by the oil llingness to pay" for the motor fuel.
The price for crude oil, which accounts for about half the cost of making gasoline, topped $60 a barrel in trading on Tuesday the New York Mercantile Exchange (search).
In the weekly EIA survey, the West Coast had the most expensive regular unleaded gasoline, with the price up 3.8 cents at $2.41 a gallon. San Francisco topped the EIA's survey of cities, with the price of gasoline up 7 cents at $2.52.
The Gulf Coast states (search), where many refineries are located, had the cheapest fuel, with the price up 0.2 cent at $2.12 per gallon. Among major cities, Houston had the cheapest pump price, with fuel up 2.5 cents at $2.09.
The EIA report also showed prices, rounded to the nearest penny, were up 5.1 cents at $2.36 in Seattle; up 2.8 cents at $2.33 in Chicago; up 0.6 cent at $2.30 in Miami; up 2 cents at $2.26 in New York City, up 3.6 cents at $2.25 in Boston and up 5.4 cents at $2.17 in Denver.
The average price for diesel fuel increased 1.2 cents to a record $2.35 a gallon, up 63 cents from a year earlier, the EIA said.
Truckers in the New England states paid the most for diesel at $2.49 a gallon, up almost a penny from last week. The Gulf Coast states had the cheapest diesel at $2.29 a gallon, up 0.2 cent.