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Aww man! Gas prices up again

2:11 PM, Mar 5, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida --  Gas prices inched up another penny overnight, making today the 27th day we've seen gas prices go up.

The national average for a gallon of regular gas now stands at $3.767, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report.  In Florida, prices remained steady overnight, at a higher $3.796 for a gallon of regular gas.

Gasbuddy.com is also showing similar estimates at the 140,000 gas stations it tracks nationwide.

"Gasoline prices have spiked considerably higher in virtually every area over the last two weeks, and while I don't expect the pace of the recent rise in prices to continue for the entire month, a similar jump may again occur closer to April Fools Day, and it won't be a funny joke, it'll be disgusting reality," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "The rise in price is so unbelievable that we may have to revise upward our previous gasoline forecast that had called for a national average of between $3.75 to $4.15 by mid-May, as the national average already stands at nearly $3.72/gallon," DeHaan said.

AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady says we will likely continue to see prices rise throughout this week.

You can blame the continued tensions in Iran where conflict is brewing over Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz where about a fifth of the world's oil supply is transported through.

Brady says as long as this continues, by this summer we could see prices surpass the record national high of $4.11 set in July of 2008.

Economists worry the continued rise in prices will hurt the recovering US economy.

Economoist Lakshman Achuthan went as far as to say we could see another US recession by this summer as a result.

"If we have another shock, like a spike in oil, what that can do is take what right now, my best case scenario is, say a relatively mild recession.  If we have a new shock on top of that recession, it can take a mild recession and make it worse.  We saw an example of that in the last recession," Achuthan told CNN.

Brady disagrees with this doom and gloom prediction.

"I don't know that it's going to get to that point.  I do think we are going to see gas prices surpass the 2008 record high of $4.11, but right now, demand levels are still lagging behind the past few years, so at some point that's going to have to come into play and I think once we hit that peak, whatever it may be this year, demand numbers aren't going to support it and prices are going to drop way back down," Brady told 10 News.

While we can't do much to decrease prices at the pump, there are simple things you can do to get the most mileage out of each gallon of gas.

You can increase your gas mileage by up to 50% by doing these four simple things: 

1)  Drive sensibly.  By not speeding or making sudden stops or starts, you can increase mileage by as much as 33%!

2)  Routine maintenance.  Keeping up with oil changes, changing filters and spark plugs can increase mileage by up to 10%.

3)  Tire air pressure. Maintaining proper air pressure in your tires can increase mileage by 3%.

4)  Get rid of the weight!  We're talking about the extra stuff you keep in your car, like those golf clubs.  You can increase your mileage by 2% for every 100 pounds you get rid of in the car.

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