July Fourth gas prices to be highest since 2008

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The recent spike in gas prices will make the July 4 holiday weekend the most expensive for drivers since 2008.

According to USA Today, prices will average $3.68 a gallon for regular-grade gas, up 17 cents from last year. That is still below the record price of $4.11 at the pump just after July 4, 2008.

The continuing fears over the political unrest in Iraq have seen crude oil prices rising, causing an unseasonably early summer run-up on retail gas prices, the paper reports.

According to GasBuddy.com, as of Sunday, South Carolina drivers were paying the least amount for gas, $3.37 a gallon, while Hawaii motorists were shelling out the most at the pump -- $4.37 a gallon for regular.

Tom Kloza, senior energy analyst for GasBuddy.com, expects a $3.75 top, and says gas prices may be near their 2014 peak.

“Demand during the summer looks to be brisk, but it will be hard-pressed to match last year’s consumption rate. Year-to-date, U.S. motor fuel demand has averaged about 365 million gallons per day, up about 1.7 percent from the same period in 2013,” Kloza told USA Today. “But lower demand looms through most of 2014 thanks to less driving by Millennials and an increasingly more efficient light-vehicle fleet.”