Colorado Springs, which early in the year had among the lowest gas prices in the country, now has prices well above the national average.
The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded Tuesday in the Springs was $3.802, up from $3.597 a week ago, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report; it's also above the year-ago average of $3.751.
The national average Tuesday was $3.654, still below the year-ago average of $3.689. The average across Colorado was $3.839, up 18 cents a gallon in the past week.
Colorado is among states feeling the pinch from a tight gas supply caused by refinery issues in the Midwest, said Gregg Laskoski, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, which tracks gas prices across the U.S. and Canada. Those problems caused prices to surge as much as 40 cents a gallon in some states in the past week and are the reason Minnesota has the highest average price among the Lower 48 states at $4.268.
"It was really startling," Laskoski said of the surge. Minnesota is among nine states with averages at or above $4 a gallon. Southern states are enjoying cheaper gas, with South Carolina recording the lowest average in the nation at $3.244 a gallon, according to AAA.
"The Gulf Coast refineries are well-stocked," Laskoski said. Meanwhile, there is good news for those states hammered by the refinery issues in the Midwest, he said: Those refineries are starting to return to operation and wholesale gas prices are falling.
"We are definitely looking at this whole thing as an episode and not a long-term trend," Laskoski said. Prices at the pump, he said, should start falling after Memorial Day weekend.
TRACKING PRICES ONLINE
To find the lowest gas prices in Colorado Springs, go to gazette.com/gaswatch.