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AAA: PA to Lead National Gas Price Surge

Prices could hit $4.25 per gallon in the area.

Feeling a pinch at the pump lately? Brace yourself: the worst may be yet to come.

That's the message today from the American Automobile Assocation (AAA), which said gas prices could hit $4.25 per gallon in the greater Philadelphia area during the two-month period from March 15 to May 15.

“Analysts anticipate Pennsylvania will be the hot spot for gasoline prices in the coming weeks and months,” said Jenny M. Robinson, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  

“The next 60 days will prove extremely volatile for gas prices in the state, following the idling of two Philadelphia area refineries in recent weeks and the threat of another closure this summer.  This does not bode well for motorists who have already had to deal with two months of record setting gas prices to start the year,” Robinson said.

The average price for regular-grade gasoline in the Philadelphia area is $3.67 per gallon today, ahead of the national average of $3.58. That's up from a national average of $3.17 per gallon at this time last year, the highest price ever for this time of year.

AAA cites higher international demand for oil, Iran-related tensions in the Persian Gulf, and shutdowns to Philadelphia area oil refineries as among the factors responsible for the coming price spike.

Despite that, AAA said, gas prices could fall back by as much as $0.75 per gallon this autumn.

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