Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Gas prices are nowhere near the $4 mark as they were a few months ago, but for the past two weeks prices have been inching their way upward again in Las Vegas and across the country.
According to GasBuddy.com, the highest national average for regular unleaded gas was $4.12 in July compared to the average of $1.77 on Friday.
The average price for regular unleaded fuel in Las Vegas was $1.87 Friday, 10 cents above the national average, according to VegasGasPrices.com, which is affiliated with GasBuddy.com. A year ago the average was $3.09 for a gallon in Las Vegas, while the average nationally was $2.76.
AAA Nevada spokesman Michael Geeser said gas prices began to rise slowly each day after the new year. There are two main reasons for the increase, he said.
“This is the time of year when prices start to go up based upon demand and refineries getting set for their scheduled maintenance periods when they're not producing enough product,” he said. He said the second reason is that gas retailers may think now is a good time to get back money lost earlier in the year.
However, Geeser does not expect the prices to rise as high as they were six months ago.
“With the economic crisis we have all gone through, demand has really gone down,” he said. “I don’t think prices will get that high because people won’t be using as much of it as they were last summer.”
The lowest prices in the nation could be found in Wyoming at $1.39 per gallon, Montana at $1.44 and Colorado at $1.52. The most expensive gas was pumped in Alaska at $2.37 with Hawaii and California following behind, selling at $2.32 and $1.96 per gallon, respectively.
According to the AAA auto club, areas in Nevada were above the national rate, except for Elko, which averaged $1.68 Friday. Henderson’s regular gas was sold at $1.87, Reno at $1.95, Carson City averaged $1.88 and Sparks was the highest with $1.96 per gallon.