WASHINGTON – The U.S. average retail price for gasoline fell below $2.20 a gallon for the first time since late June, the government's top energy forecasting agency said Monday.
The national price for regular unleaded gasoline declined 4.7 cents over the last week to an average $2.15 a gallon, up 21 cents from a year ago, based on the federal Energy Information Administration's weekly survey of service stations.
The pump price has dropped 92 cents since reaching a record high of $3.07 a gallon in early September after Hurricane Katrina damaged oil refineries along the Gulf Coast and disrupted fuel supplies.
The drop in gasoline prices mirrors a decline in crude oil costs and an increase in gasoline production as more refineries resume their operations.
However, three refineries that can process up to 804,000 barrels of crude oil a day into gasoline and other petroleum products are still shut down because of the hurricanes.
In the EIA's latest weekly survey, the West Coast had the most expensive regional gasoline, with the price down 4.4 cents to $2.39 a gallon. Miami topped the agency's survey of cities, with gasoline down 3.5 cents to $2.45 a gallon.
The Midwest again had the cheapest gasoline at $2.05 a gallon, down 3.3 cents. Among major cities, Cleveland had the cheapest fuel, down 1.8 cents to $2.03 a gallon.
The EIA report also showed prices, rounded to the nearest penny, down 4.6 cents at $2.44 in Los Angeles, down 4.5 cents at $2.36 in Seattle, down 5.5 cents at $2.20 in New York City, down 5.8 cents at $2.18 in Chicago, down 8.6 cents to $2.05 in Houston and down 5.4 cents at $2.05 in Boston.
Separately, the weekly price for diesel fuel dropped 3.4 cents to $2.48 a gallon, the lowest level in 16 weeks but still 36 cents higher from a year ago, the agency said.
Truckers in the New England region paid the most for diesel at $2.62 a gallon, down 3.3 cents from last week. The lower Atlantic states had the cheapest diesel at $2.39 a gallon, down 2.9 cents.