WASHINGTON – U.S. retail gasoline prices fell again last week, with the cost for regular unleaded gasoline dropping 12.3 cents to $2.73 a gallon, the government's top energy forecasting agency said Monday.
The national pump price has fallen 20 cents in the last two weeks, but is still up 69 cents from a year ago, based on the Energy Information Administration's (search) weekly survey of service stations.
The drop in gasoline prices mirrors the decline in crude oil costs. Motor fuel demand has also declined after consumers cut gasoline use in response to record high prices in September after hurricanes Katrina (search) and Rita disrupted supplies.
More oil refineries are coming back online and producing gasoline. But U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman (search) said Monday that consumers have reduced gasoline and other energy consumption in response to higher prices and the government's campaign to encourage less energy use.
"It's a fact of life that Americans are responding to and getting used to," Bodman told reporters.
"Americans are feeling the pinch of higher energy prices these days," he said.
In the EIA's weekly survey, the West Coast had the most expensive regional gasoline, with the price down 6 cents to $2.87 a gallon. San Francisco topped the agency's survey of cities, with gasoline down 7.1 cents to $2.95 a gallon.
The Midwest had the cheapest gasoline at $2.59 a gallon, down 16.6 cents. Among major cities, Cleveland again had the cheapest fuel, down 20.2 cents to $2.57 a gallon.
The EIA report also showed prices, rounded to the nearest penny, down 5.5 cents to $2.91 in Miami, down 6.6 cents to $2.79 in Houston, down 5.3 cents at $2.79 in Seattle, down 7.2 cents at $2.76 in New York City, down 9.3 cents at $2.74 in Chicago and down 12.1 cents at $2.67 in Boston.
Separately, the price for diesel fuel fell after hitting record highs for two weeks in a row. Diesel dropped a slight 0.2 cent over the last week to $3.15 a gallon, up 97 cents from a year ago, the EIA said.
Truckers in the lower Atlantic states paid the most for diesel at $3.20 a gallon, down 5.3 cents cents from last week, the agency said. The New England region had the cheapest diesel at $2.91 a gallon, down 3.4 cents.