Gas prices are on the move; upward unfortunately. A year ago, gas in the Seattle metro area was selling for $3.60 per gallon for regular, today that same gallon will set you back $4.03 on average, according the Automobile Club of America. (You can always check the best gas prices by clicking on the Traffic & Gas link on the Patch navigation bar.) In Enumclaw, a gallon of regular will cost about $3.85.
But while oil investors’ jitters may be causing the current rise, there’s a less sinister reason than you’ve been hearing as to why you will pay more in April: Summer blend.
No, not coffee, not a new kind of beer. It’s a blend of gasoline released in April that makes sure as temperatures rise, gasoline doesn’t vaporize in the open air too fast. Summer blend requires additives, which make it more expensive for refineries to produce. That’s part of the reason we’ll all be paying more for gasoline in April, AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said.
Now on to the worse news:
“Right now there’s a perfect storm of news affecting the oil market, such as the threat of an Iran oil embargo that could roil investors, combined with an economy where refineries are not producing as much gasoline as they could because there is less demand,” Harris said, explaining that because people are driving less, refineries have been producing less gasoline.
Future oil prices are nearly impossible to predict, but at the rate they’ve been going up it’s conceivable we could see summer prices approach the way they were in 2008.
“In 2008 we did experience gas prices above $5 a gallon and that could happen again this year,” Harris said.