(The Center Square) – Virginia’s price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline has risen nearly 30 cents in a month, half of that in just the last week.
The American Automobile Association’s daily tracking put the state average at $3.59 on Monday, up from $3.42 a week ago and $3.30 a month ago.
The national average is $3.75, AAA says.
Diesel prices are also on the rise. The average in state is $3.91, up from $3.77 a week ago and $3.70 a month ago.
Unleaded gas in Virginia was selling on average for $3.99 a gallon a year ago; diesel was $5.19.
Patrick De Haan, an analyst of petroleum prices at GasBuddy, in a statement said, “Gas prices suddenly soared over the last week due to heat-related refinery outages that impacted some of the largest refineries in the country, at a time when summer gasoline demand peaks and as gasoline inventories slid to their lowest July level since 2015.”
Also, he said, oil prices are that their highest level in months. It’s more than $80 per barrel, due to strategic petroleum reserve releases coming to an end. De Haan noted supply cuts from Saudi Arabia and Russia, the second- and third-largest oil producers on the planet.
As is usual, prices are highest near the D.C. metro area and in the Tidewater area near the beaches that draw tourists. The lowest prices are in the southwestern counties of the Appalachians.
In county averages, the highest is Fairfax ($3.79) bordering the cities of Alexandria ($3.82) and Arlington ($3.81). Loudoun County is a tick lower at $3.67. At the Chesapeake Bay, Northampton ($3.76) and Accomack ($3.74) counties are about a dime higher than Virginia Beach ($3.65) and Hampton ($3.64).
Fredericksburg is up 22 cents on last week; for Winchester and Staunton-Waynesboro, it is 20 cents. It’s a 19 cents rise in both Richmond-Petersburg and the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News metro markets.
Virginia taxes gasoline at 28.9 cents per gallon. According to IGEN, which analyzes trends of heavily regulated markets, 28 states are lower. The highest are Pennsylvania (61.1 cents) California (53.9), Washington (49.4), Maryland (42.7), Illinois (42.3) and New Jersey (42.1).