Current events play big role in high gas prices

Kingman average crosses $3 threshold

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br>
Gas stations with prices over $3 a gallon are a common sight along Beale Street.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br> Gas stations with prices over $3 a gallon are a common sight along Beale Street.

KINGMAN - The chill in the United States combined with the fires in Egypt have proven a double-whammy for oil and gas prices, the latter of which have run up against the $3 per gallon mark locally this past week.

Gas prices are currently running about 14 cents higher than they were at the end of last year, with Kingman's average gas price hovering at about $3.047 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That average comes from 23 local stations as reported by AAA's Fuel Price Finder website, with individual station prices ranging as low as $2.919 and as high as $3.319 per gallon.

As usual, Kingman and its neighboring communities in Northern Arizona remain several cents above cities in southern Arizona, which is where the state's main gasoline pipelines converge. Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City each rival Kingman's average at $3.002 and $3.058, respectively, compared to just $2.933 for Tucson. Flagstaff motorists are currently paying $3.116 per gallon, while Phoenix pays $3.042, just below the statewide average of $3.044 per gallon.

According to AAA Arizona spokeswoman Linda Gorman, much of the blame can be placed squarely on the unrest in Egypt, where the populace is rebelling in the streets of Cairo, demanding the resignation of longtime autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak. In a news release sent out Thursday, Gorman said the strife in Egypt had caused global

oil prices to hit a two-year high of $92 a barrel in recent days. That rise was also accompanied by a similar rise in the cost of heating oil in the U.S. following a wave of cold weather that stretched from the northeast to deep in the heart of Texas.

"The spectrum of events this week, from upheaval in Egypt to snow storms in the U.S., demonstrate the volatility of oil prices and their subsequent effects at the pump," Gorman said. "Yet if the situation in Egypt tempers and quells market anxiety, and if oil prices stay at or below their current levels, drivers should not experience a significant shift in fuel prices in the short-term, barring unforeseen circumstances."

California continues to pay the highest price for gas in the continental U.S., with the state averaging $3.389 per gallon as of Friday afternoon. Wyoming currently pays the lowest for gas, averaging just $2.879 per gallon. The nationwide average for gas currently stands at $3.124.