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What goes down… Oregon gas prices zoom higher


After months of driver-welcomed declines, Oregon has the dubious distinction of having the second-largest weekly increase in gas prices in the nation this week, AAA Oregon/Idaho reported Tuesday.

“Skyrocketing prices in West Coast markets due to refinery outages and operational issues are putting upward pressure on the national average for regular unleaded,” says AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds.

For the week, the national average jumps 13 cents to $2.44 a gallon. Oregon’s average soars 34 cents to $2.82 a gallon. They are the largest weekly spikes since July 2013.

“The national average has moved higher for 36 consecutive days, and the Oregon average has increased for 29 consecutive days,” Dodds said. “These are the longest streaks of increases since February 2013.”

Gas prices normally rise between 30 and 50 cents during the late winter and spring as refineries conduct seasonal maintenance in order to prepare for production of summer-blend fuel as required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Unexpected refinery outages on the West Coast have exacerbated seasonal production declines, and the price at the pump has jumped significantly higher in impacted markets.

Drivers in California have been subject to the most dramatic increases. The average price for retail gasoline in the state climbed by 13 cents over a 24-hour period due to supply shortages and the impact of last week’s explosion at ExxonMobil’s refinery in Torrance, California. And the broader price impact is currently being felt in a number of West Coast markets, including Oregon.

California ($3.41) has unseated Hawaii ($3.06) as the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline for the first time since October 2012. Unlike other states, California cannot easily import gasoline from neighboring markets, due to environmental regulations that require specialized fuel blends in the state.

The neighboring states of Oregon ($2.82), Nevada ($2.81), and Washington ($2.76) have also been impacted by the regional production issues, and are joined by Alaska ($2.81) as the nation’s most expensive markets for retail gasoline.

No state is posting an average below $2 per gallon. Motorists in Utah ($2.10), Wyoming ($2.11) and Idaho ($2.11) are paying the least per gallon to refuel their vehicles.

To find the lowest citizen-reported gas prices on the High Desert, visit KTVZ.COM’s Pump Patrol.

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