standing gas pump

PROVIDENCE — Higher crude oil prices, robust demand and shrinking supply, plus the closure of a major northeast refinery in Philadelphia are all factors showing up at the pump, leading to the first increase in prices locally in nearly two months.

According to AAA, gas prices are higher in half of U.S. states this week, including Rhode Island where a three-cent jump. The increase is the first since early May, according to AAA Northeast.

“For the more than 41 million motorists hitting the road this week to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, they will find gas prices cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, but more expensive than they’ve been paying the last few weeks,” said Diana Imondi, manager of public affairs and traffic safety for AAA Northeast.

“It’s typical to see increases at the pump ahead of the holiday, but we may see prices continue to jump throughout the month due to refinery interruptions on the East Coast, increasing demand and fluctuations in crude oil price," she said.

A survey of prices in Rhode Island Monday found self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.70 per gallon. Rhode Island’s price is one cent lower than the national average of $2.71.

A year ago at this time, the average price in Rhode Island was twenty-two cents higher at $2.92.

The range in prices in the latest AAA survey for unleaded regular is 44 cents, from a low of $2.55 to a high of $2.99.

— Jason Vallee

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