Gas prices rising in Ohio

After weeks of steady declines at the pump, gas prices are starting to increase across the country. On the week, a gallon of regular unleaded is, on average, 9 cents more expensive ($2.65 as of June 30) in Ohio as drivers gear up for Independence Day holiday travel.

“For the more than 2 million Ohio motorists hitting the road this week to celebrate Independence Day, they will find gas prices cheaper than Memorial Day, but more expensive than they’ve been paying the last few weeks,” said Kara Hitchens, AAA spokesperson. “It’s typical to see increases at the pump ahead of the holiday, but we may see prices continue to jump throughout the month.”

Ohio could see further increases due to the gas tax increase of 10.5 percent per gallon going into effect Monday. Though it is likely that gas stations have already started to account for higher gas prices, due to the new tax, into retail prices.

A number of factors are also pushing gas prices higher, including: rising crude oil prices, strong demand, holiday travel and announcement of the closure of the largest refinery on the East Coast. The announcement came following a fire and explosion at the refinery, which produces 335,000 barrels of crude per day (42 U.S. gallons per barrel).

While gasoline stocks from Canada, neighboring refineries, and the Colonial Pipeline will help backfill supply, retailers will likely face increased transportation costs which will drive prices in the Northeast and surrounding regions.

Prices in Swanton were $2.65 for regular unleaded gasoline on Monday morning.

The national average is $2.71, which is 6 cents more than last week but 14 cents less than a month and year ago.