WASHINGTON - The national average price Tuesday for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.65 per gallon.
This is 1 cent more than last week and 2 cents more than the same date last year, but the national price at the pump is 5 cent less than one month ago.
Yesterdays Memorial Day holiday saw drivers paying slightly more for gasoline than the previous two years 3 cents more than in 2013 ($3.63) and 2 cents more than in 2012 ($3.64). However, Monddays price reflected a discount of 13 cents from the Memorial Day average of $3.79 per gallon in 2011.
For the first time in 2014, consumers in three states paid $4s or more per gallon: Hawaii, California and Alaska.
Drivers in Missouri are paying the least per gallon ($3.38), a difference of 99 cents from nations most expensive market (Hawaii: $4.37). The price at the pump in 44 states and the District of Columbia has remained relatively stable over the past seven days (+/- 2 cents), and only three states have seen the price move more than a nickel: Ohio (+11 cents), Michigan (+8 cents) and Kentucky (+6 cents).
Drivers in the majority of states (37) and the District of Columbia continue to experience a month-over-month discount, with only Utah (plus-14 cents), Idaho (plus-13 cents) and Arkansas (plus-11 cents) reflecting premiums in the double digits.
Although consumers in 30 states and the District of Columbia continue to pay a year-over-year premium, drivers in a 10 states are experiencing savings of a quarter or more versus the same date in 2013, led by North Dakota (off 58 cents), Minnesota (off 55 cents), Iowa (off 46 cents), Nebraska (off 45 cents) and Kansas (off 43 cents).
Elevated global oil prices have kept a relative floor under retail gas prices for motorists. Oil markets are keeping a close eye on simmering geopolitical tensions, most notably those in Ukraine and Libya, for any developments that might impact global supply.
Over the weekend Ukraine elected a new president, Petro Poroshenko, which some analysts had suggested would increase stability in the region. However, the government in Kiev ordered an airstrike on an air base held by rebels, and it remains likely heightened tensions will persist.
At the close of formal trading on the NYMEX, West Texas Intermediate crude oil settled 24 cents lower at $104.11 per barrel. This marks the third straight week WTI closed above $100 per barrel.