WASHINGTON - Higher costs for crude oil will contribute to higher gasoline and diesel fuel prices this summer and throughout the year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Regular grade gasoline retail prices, which averaged $2.93 per gallon last summer, are projected to average $3.54 per gallon during this summer’s driving season, says the EIA. Diesel fuel prices, which averaged $2.85 per gallon last summer, are projected to average $3.73 this summer. The monthly average gasoline price is projected to peak at just over $3.60 per gallon in June, suggesting the possibility that some local prices could exceed $4 per gallon. The monthly average diesel price is expected to peak at just over $3.90 per gallon in April, while weekly regional prices have already exceeded $4 per gallon in some parts of the country.
For the year, gasoline prices are projected to average $3.36 per gallon in 2008, up 55 cents from last year. Diesel prices are projected to average $3.62 per gallon, or 74 cents above the 2007 average price.