While national average gasoline prices have dropped to $2 a gallon, South Sound gas prices this week remained some 45 cents a gallon higher.
Tacomagasprices.com reports average unleaded regular gas prices in the Tacoma area Monday were $2.456. That compares with the national average of $2 a gallon.
The silver lining in that report is that those South Sound averages are some 20 cents less per gallon than in last year’s holiday travel period.
That Monday average South Sound price was up about 4 cents a gallon from a week ago but down more than a penny a gallon from the month-ago average prices.
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Production issues at two California refineries may be keeping prices higher here, say some energy analysts. Washington oil refineries routinely ship gasoline to some California markets when demand requires it.
“With the national average price of gas slipping below $2 on Saturday, the holiday season continues to reward most consumers at the pump — but the Grinch turned up in California, replacing price declines with price spikes,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com.
Lowest per-gallon prices around Tacoma were more than 32 cents less than the area average. Those low prices, $2.13 a gallon, were available at Costco at South 37th and Steele streets and at a handful of Arco stations in Tacoma.
The cheapest gas in the Olympia area, $2.15 a gallon, was available at two Arco stations on Martin Way.
The least expensive gas in Federal Way, $2.13 a gallon, was being sold at Costco at 35100 Enchanted Parkway.
The nation’s lowest state average price was in Kansas, where the average cost per gallon was $1.75.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663