AAA: Gas prices up in RI, Mass. due to cold weather

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The average retail prices of gasoline in the area last week remained the same as the week before at $2.41 a gallon, according GasBuddy's daily survey of 308 gas outlets in Sarasota. Both stations are now charging $4.02 for a gallon of regular gasoline, $4.37 for a gallon of premium or supreme and $4.43 a gallon for diesel.

Gas prices were up across the Northeast, AAA said.

According to AAA, the first part of a new year is traditionally strong for oil prices. It is not clear whether or not these price hikes have anything to do with the increase to the liquid fuel tax. A year ago, the state average was $2.53. West Texas Intermediate crude settled at a four-year high above $62 a barrel last week as global supply levels tightened.

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AAA: Gas prices up in RI, Mass. due to cold weather

The U.S. average diesel price is $2.94, up 6 cents from three weeks ago. Then reduced winter demand pushes them lower for the next month or two. He does see a short-lived drop in prices in late January, but expects prices to rise again after Valentine's Day. "Of course, this forecast could change dramatically if there are unexpected shifts in fuel supply and/or the stock market". Since last autumn's maintenance season was interrupted by hurricanes, this spring is likely to be more active than usual for refineries, putting the price hike on the higher end of that 30- t0 75-cent scale, AAA said.

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