Leader Blues

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

TOP STORY >>Gas prices near $3 mark

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

About a dozen stations in Northwest Arkansas were selling their “cheap” gas at $2.99 a gallon late Tuesday, trying hard not to break through the $3 mark like the national average has done.

On the national level, nearly half of the states, 24 out of 50, are averaging more than $3 a gallon, with California leading the pack at $3.49 a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association. The national average is $3.04 a gallon, while in Arkansas it’s at $2.87 a gallon, up 21 cents in the past month.

While the Springdale and Fayetteville stations were one-tenth of a cent away from $3, a number of stations in Russellville were at $2.73 Tuesday, some of the lowest prices in the state.

Locally, prices ran from a high of $2.92 per gallon of unleaded at a Sherwood station down to $2.76 at three Cabot stations.
Mike Right, with AAA, which daily surveys 85,000 stations to determine price averages, said the major problem is with refineries at the moment. “Many of them either have been down for maintenance or still are and it will take time before they are running at full capacity,” Right said.

Locally, Cabot had the cheapest gasoline prices late Tuesday, with an average of $2.81 for a gallon of unleaded gasoline.
Jacksonville was at $2.83, followed by Beebe at $2.85 and Sherwood with an average of $2.87 per gallon of unleaded.
According to the AAA survey, Pine Bluff and Texarkana have the lowest averages in the state at $2.84 for a gallon of unleaded, Fort Smith, along with central Arkansas, is at $2.86 and northwest Arkansas is at $2.94.

For the local figures, nine stations were surveyed by the Leader in Jacksonville and Cabot, eight in Sherwood and four in Beebe.

Other states averaging more than $3 a gallon include California, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

The states with the cheapest gas are Mississippi and Tennessee at $2.84.