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March 13, 2013
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Gasoline prices trickling down?

Although month-to-month reports show an increase at the pump, gas prices have been on a slow decline in recent weeks, according to the latest AAA Northern California monthly gas survey.

Statewide, the average price per gallon for regular unleaded is $4.17, up 11 cents since a AAA report on Feb. 12. On Tuesday, AAA reported prices are 19 cents higher than California’s average price on the same date last year.

Among all 50 states, California has the second-highest price for regular, unleaded gasoline. Hawaii is the highest at $4.40 per gallon.

“The recent, rising gas price bubble has burst, as prices are starting to trickle down following a series of jumps at the pump that lasted for weeks,” AAA Northern California Public Affairs Director Robert Brown said in a news release.

“This drop in prices is helped by a now completed switchover to summer-blend gasoline and the completion of refinery maintenance, which helped to push up prices.”

In western Nevada County, a survey of 14 gas stations at noon Wednesday showed an average price of $4.07 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline. The ARCO station at Brunswick Road and Nevada City Highway posted the lowest price at $3.95 per gallon while the Quik Stop at Hughes Road in Grass Valley had the next lowest price at $3.97.

The highest prices per gallon were found at the Chevron station on Sacramento Street in Nevada City at $4.29 per gallon and the Chevron at South Auburn Street, near downtown Grass Valley, at $4.19.

Northern California gas prices are now averaging $4.11, a change of 16 cents in prices from last month’s report. In the Bay Area, motorists can expect to pay an average prices of $4.23 per gallon, up 20 cents from last month.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.70, four cents more than one week ago, 12 cents more than one month ago and 10 cents more than the average price one year ago, according to the AAA report.

The recent spike in pump prices was a product of refinery maintenance and concerns, rather than more expensive crude oil, the AAA reported. The refinery issues pressured wholesale and futures prices higher than gasoline, while crude oil prices only increased slightly during the same period. The recent decline in the national average is partially due to cheaper crude oil, but is more closely linked to sharply lower wholesale gasoline prices.

The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Modesto, Marysville and Tracy, where regular unleaded gasoline is $3.98 per gallon. Of all the metro areas in Northern California, where prices are tracked by AAA, Eureka has the highest average price at $4.36.

The highest average prices for gas, in the nation’s metro areas is Wailuku, Hawaii, at $4.57. The lowest is in Casper, Wyo., where the price per gallon is $3.16.

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The Union Updated Mar 13, 2013 08:24PM Published Mar 13, 2013 04:08PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.