Gas Climbs 11 Cents And Heading Higher

A taxi driver pays an attendant (R) for $20 worth of gasoline at a Lukoil gas station in the Chelsea neighborhood August 23, 2005 in New York City. The average price of gasoline rose 6.2 cents last week to a record average of $2.612 a gallon. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced that automakers must increase the average fuel economy standards for light trucks beginning with 2011 models.
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Retail gas prices across the country climbed an average of 11 cents in the past two weeks, according to a new survey, and could be headed still higher in the next few months.

"Self-serve regular now costs $2.35. The all-grades combined price is $2.38," Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations around the country, told CBS Radio News.

Mid-grade cost $2.45 a gallon while the price for premium was $2.55.

Gas prices are 38 cents higher than they were a year ago, Lundberg said Sunday, and are still heading upward.

"Chances are prices will be higher than they are now in the coming weeks, as we use more gasoline, and new regulations make gasoline more expensive to make," she said. "We will have higher gasoline prices this year, but probably not to exceed last year's all-time record high. The Sept. 9 Katrina price for self-serve regular was $3.01. That's 66 cents higher than it is right now."

Lundberg said the price of crude oil is not to blame.

"We're entering a higher-demand season. That pulls on supply. The other reason is that this year's recipes for fuel will cost refiners more than ever, due to EPA rules and two energy bill changes," Lundberg said.

How much higher? Lundberg said another 30 cents a gallon is likely (audio).

Right now, among stations surveyed, the lowest average price in the country for regular unleaded was in Newark, N.J., at $2.15 a gallon. The priciest was $2.63 a gallon in Honolulu.