It's Groundhog Day at the Pumps as Price Hikes Repeat

NOTE: AAA Fuel Gauge data should include attribution to AAA.

Phoenix, Ariz., Feb. 2, 2012. Motorists across the state and country are wishing Punxsutawney Phil could predict the end of rising gas prices after another week of increases at the pump. Statewide, drivers are currently paying 4.6 cents more than last week at $3.408 per gallon. Nationwide, the average fuel price jumped 7.6 cents to $3.455.

This week, the price of crude teetered between the mid and high $90 per barrel range. Repeat market factors continue to persist, from euro zone debt concerns and bleak demand placing downward pressure on oil, while geopolitical tension with Iran and signs of U.S. economic recovery tug prices upward. Another factor fueling pump price increases are reports of refineries cutting production in the face of anemic demand.

“While oil prices have been relatively stable and even dipped below $100 per barrel this week, pump prices have steadily increased for six weeks,” said Linda Gorman, director of communication and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “Current prices are the highest on record for the start of February and have motorists wondering just how high prices will go this year and when—rather than if—they will shatter the record high set in 2008.”

Tucson and Scottsdale hold the low and high state fuel averages at $3.256 and $3.508 per gallon, respectively. Wyoming and New York hold the low and high price extremes for the lower 48 states at $2.996 and $3.770 per gallon, respectively.

City Today’s Price Change from Last Week Premium Diesel Last Year’s Price
East Valley
(Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Apache Junction, Queen Creek)
$3.429 +5.0 $3.673 $3.856 $3.042
Flagstaff $3.455 +2.9 $3.642 $3.954 $3.083
Glendale $3.410 +5.4 $3.665 $3.911 $3.062
Peoria $3.386 +3.1 $3.657 $3.893 $3.048
Phoenix (city) $3.432 +5.7 $3.693 $3.893 $3.049
Pima County $3.267 +3.6 $3.473 $3.976 $2.940
$3.395 +4.8 $3.619 $3.903 $2.947
(Scottsdale, Fountain Hills)
$3.508 +6.6 $3.777 $3.972 $3.128
Tucson $3.256 +3.9 $3.470 $3.959 $2.933
Yuma $3.474 +2.2 $3.660 $3.820 $3.078
Statewide $3.408 +4.6 $3.641 $3.918 $3.037
National $3.455 +7.6 $3.718 $3.877 $3.108
E-85 $3.091 +3.6 - - $2.679
*E85 MPG/BTU adjusted price $4.068 +4.8 - - $3.525

AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:

*The BTU-adjusted price of E-85 is the nationwide average price of E-85 adjusted to reflect the lower energy content as expressed in British Thermal Units. The BTU-adjusted price is calculated and displayed as part of AAA's Fuel Gauge Report because according to the Energy Information Administration, E-85 delivers approximately 25 percent fewer BTUs by volume than conventional gasoline. Because "flexible fuel" vehicles can operate on conventional fuel and E-85, the BTU-adjusted price of E-85 is essential to understanding the cost implications of each fuel choice for consumers.

AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report includes data from gasoline stations in every Arizona community. Local prices in some communities might be higher or lower than the averages shown here. This service is updated daily by the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) with average national, state and local prices for gasoline, diesel and E-85. Every day more than 100,000 stations are surveyed in cooperation with Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability.