Gas prices continue to march upward to the $4-a-gallon threshold.
The average retail price of gasoline in the Sacramento area rose another 6.1 cents over the past week $3.72 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com, which surveys 720 gas outlets in the area.
At-the-pump costs are now 30.1 cents higher than one month ago, although they are nearly 30 cents lower than they were at this time last year.
Nationally, the average price of gas is $3.47 a gallon, up 3.4 cents from last week and a gain of 18.5 cents over a month ago. The current national average is 19.1 cents lower than it was last year, GasBuddy said.
Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said relief from the current price-rising trend is likely weeks away.
As refinery maintenance season is now in its prime and will be for several weeks, motorists could see additional volatility at the pump should issues or unexpected problems arise, he said. There tend to be glitches and issues restarting these plants, and the progressive switchover to various (spring-summer) blends of gasoline complicates matters further.
As refineries get back online, he added, the volatility will ebb, and prices will slow their climb. But all of that light at the end of the tunnel remains several weeks away.
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