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Originally published May 22, 2014 at 6:58 PM | Page modified May 23, 2014 at 6:34 AM

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Gasoline prices have familiar look as summer nears

After a two-year run-up between 2009 and 2011, the price of gasoline has remained in a range of roughly $3.25 to $3.75 per gallon and is expected to remain in that range this summer.


The Associated Press

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NEW YORK — The price of gasoline looks familiar this Memorial Day. For the third year in a row, the national average will be within a penny or two of $3.64 per gallon.

Stability wasn’t always the norm. Between 2003 and 2008 average retail gasoline prices more than doubled, reaching an all-time high of $4.11 per gallon in 2008. But after a two-year run-up between 2009 and 2011, the price of gasoline has remained in a range of roughly $3.25 to $3.75 per gallon.

Drivers can handle that, according to AAA, and are ready to head out for Memorial Day driving trips in the highest numbers since 2005.

Steady gasoline prices are largely the result of relatively steady crude-oil prices, even though there has been a long list of global supply disruptions and political turmoil that typically would push the price of oil higher.

But rising crude output in countries such as the U.S., Canada and Brazil has offset the declining supply elsewhere, helping to keep prices steady.

Approaching this Memorial Day, the national average is $3.65 per gallon, according to AAA, Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express. Last year on the holiday it was $3.63 per gallon. In 2012 it was $3.64.

Averages tell only part of the story, though.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at OPIS and Gasbuddy.com, compares the national average price of gasoline to the average temperature of the country — outside your door it’s almost certainly hotter or cooler than the average.

Across the nation, all U.S. drivers will likely be paying a bit less in the coming weeks, the result of a typical seasonal decline between late spring and early summer.

“Temperate-to-lower prices is the most likely path for the next couple of months,” Kloza says. “And then in hurricane season you just cross your fingers.”



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