Gas Prices Level Off

March 25, 2012 by staff 

Gas Prices Level Off, Gasoline prices paused this week in their march toward $4 per gallon. After 39 straight days of increases, prices fell nearly a penny from Tuesday to Thursday and held steady on Friday at $3.758 per gallon. The lull won’t last long.

Prices dipped as suppliers conducted the equivalent of a spring clearance. They are discounting winter gasoline blends to make room for different blends that are required for summer driving, said Tom Kloza, chiefanlyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

Prices will start to rise again once the winter gasoline has been sold off. They have to, Kloza said, since summer gasoline costs more to produce because it contains smog-fighting additives. The switch to summer gas also creates a temporary dip in supplies as wholesalers sell off winter stocks, and that can force prices higher as well.

According to, Burton has the lowest regular gas prices in the state at $3.64 per gallon, while a service station in Norton Shores had the highest prices in Michigan at $4.36 per gallon. In Sault Ste. Marie, gas prices ranged from $3.85 to $3.99 per gallon on Saturday afternoon.

OPIS forecasts that average gasoline prices will rise as high as $4.25 per gallon across the country by late April. That would top the record high of $4.11 set in July 2008 and keep gasoline center stage during this year’s presidential election. Republicans have blamed President Barack Obama for the high prices, while Obama has dismissed the criticism as election-year politics. Obama has asked his attorney general to look into the possibility that commodity speculators are driving prices higher.

The average price for gasoline is already more than $4 per gallon in California, Alaska and Hawaii. It’s nearly there in Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Oregon and Washington.

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