Published Friday, February 15, 2013

Gas prices rise just in time for schools' mid-winter break

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL

sarah@newnan.com

Gas prices continue on an upward trend, and in Newnan on Thursday, the average price was above the state average — not great news for families headed out of town for the Coweta County School System’s mid-winter break.

Coweta schools will be out all next week.

Typically, the cheapest prices in town are several cents lower than the state average.

But on Thursday, the cheapest gas in town was $3.54 a gallon, according to atlantagasprices.com . That’s the state average, according to AAA’s fuelgaugereport.aaa.com site.

However, that’s actually down a penny from prices on Wednesday.

Only a few stations were offering regular unleaded for $3.54 Thursday. Others known for cheaper-priced gas had it at $3.55. And prices went up from there.

The state average was up from $3.525 on Wednesday, $3.47 a week ago, and $3.321 a month ago.

The gas price situation isn’t much different than it was last year. One year ago, the state average was $3.527, according to AAA.

The Atlanta average was, as usual, a bit above the statewide price. On Thursday, it was $3.566, up from $3.552 Wednesday, $3.479 a week ago, and $3.309 a month ago. A year ago, the Atlanta-area average was $3.514.

The national average on Thursday was $3.628.

As usual, positive economic news is touted as one of the reasons gas and oil prices are rising.

This week, it’s better than expected growth in China.

Another is Iran’s nuclear program. The news of a recent bombing of an Iranian nuclear installation, possibly by Israel, helped push crude oil prices to their highest level since May 2012, said Gregg Laskoski of GasBuddy.

And then there were the snow storms in the Northeast.

This week’s report by the Energy Information Administration stated that crude oil inventories haven’t changed much.

They are 9.8 percent above last year and “above the upper limit of the average range.”

Gasoline inventories decreased slightly, from 234 million barrels to 233.2 million barrels. That’s half a percent higher than last year.

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