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, 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.


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