Ohio gas prices above $3 a gallon “the new norm”


Ohio average gasoline prices have been $3 and above for a record consecutive 1,000 days as of Monday, and show no signs of dropping, according to AAA Ohio Auto Club.

The current streak began on Dec. 22, 2010, AAA officials said. Nationally, the average price of gasoline has been above $3 per gallon for 999 days.

AAA forecasts the national average will remain above $3 per gallon for at least another thousand days, barring a major economic recession.

“Paying less than $3 per gallon for gasoline may be automotive history for most Americans,” said Bob Darbelnet, president and chief executive officer of AAA, in a statement. “The reality is that expensive gas is here to stay, which is tough on millions of people who need a car to live their lives.”

During the streak, Ohio consumers have paid an average of:

• $3.25 per gallon or higher 869 days;

• $3.50 per gallon or higher 568 days;

• $3.75 per gallon or higher 201 days; and

• $4 per gallon or higher 15 days.

Previously in Ohio, the longest streak above $3 per gallon was 236 days, from Feb. 19 to Oct. 12, 2008, according to AAA’s records.

“What I think it’s telling us is we should really start budgeting for gas prices above $3 a gallon because this is the new norm,” Kimberly Schwind, AAA Ohio spokeswoman, said.

“A lot of it’s tied to the market as well because (gasoline) is a commodity traded on the market,” Schwind said. “Now the markets are up, we have a healthier economy, we have more gasoline demand.”

AAA tracks fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Up to 120,000 fuel stations are surveyed daily, based on credit card swipes and direct feeds, in cooperation with Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express.

The average price Monday for a gallon of regular crude across Ohio was $3.39. In Cincinnati, it was $3.42, and $3.33 in Dayton-Springfield. Schwind said prices have dropped recently because of the end of the summer driving season, and as fuel has switched to a winter-blend, which is cheaper to produce than summer-blend gasoline.


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