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Gas price averages are showing little movement this week but that could change if crude oil prices fluctuate due to geopolitical concerns surrounding events in the Middle East.

For the week, the national average for regular remains at $2.59 a gallon. The Oregon average falls a penny to $3.02

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Gas prices are starting 2020 at higher prices than at the start of 2019. The national average is about 35 cents more and the Oregon average about 10 cents more than a year ago.

Following airstrikes in Baghdad last Friday, which killed Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani, crude oil prices increased, causing market speculation about what could happen to gas prices in the near-term.

“Crude prices usually climb following news of unrest in the Middle East. Whether this is a short- or long-term trend will depend on how long crude sells at a higher price point. In general, every $1 increase in the price of crude oil results in about a 2-and-a-half-cent increase in the price of gasoline,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

Oregon is one of 21 states and the District of Columbia where gas prices are lower now than a week ago. Ohio (-8 cents) has the largest weekly decline in the country. Florida (+7 cents) has the biggest weekly jump. Prices in New Mexico and North Carolina are flat.

This week there are six states with an average above $3 a gallon, same as a week ago. For the eighth week in a row, there are no states with an average above $4 a gallon. California’s average had topped the $4 mark last fall.

The cheapest gas in the nation can be found in Missouri ($2.22) and Oklahoma ($2.28). For the 47th week in a row, no states have an average below $2 a gallon.

Oregon is one of 22 states with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is half a cent more and the Oregon average is 13 cents less than a month ago. This is the eighth-largest monthly decrease in the nation. Idaho (-26 cents) has the largest month-over-month decline, Nevada (-21 cents) is second, Utah (-19 cents) is third and California (-18 cents) is fourth. Delaware (+9 cents) has the largest month-over-month increase.

Drivers in every state except Alaska are paying more than a year ago. The national average is 35 cents more and the Oregon average is 10 cents more than a year ago. Ohio (+59 cents) and Illinois (+54 cents) have the biggest year-over-year increases. Alaska (-4 cents) is the only state with a year-over-year drop.

Diesel

For the week, the national average adds a penny to $3.02 a gallon. Oregon’s average loses a penny to $3.27. A year ago, the national average for diesel was $2.96 and the Oregon average was $3.15.

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