PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As the busy summer travel season approaches, gasoline and diesel prices continue to break new records.
The national average price of gas has risen about 13 cents in the last week to $4.32, according to AAA. The price is 20 cents higher than a month ago and $1.36 higher than last year.
Rhode Island’s average gas price is up 19 cents from last week, averaging $4.37 per gallon, breaking the record of $4.36 that was set back in March.
In Massachusetts, the average gas price went up 18 cents in the past week, averaging $4.39 per gallon, also breaking a record.
According to AAA, Rhode Island ranks #20 for the most expensive gas in the country and Massachusetts is slightly higher at #18.
Rhode Island’s average gas price is five cents higher than the national average and Massachusetts’ average gas price is seven cents higher.
“With the cost of oil accounting for more than half of the pump price, more expensive oil means more expensive gasoline,” said Lloyd Albert, Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Northeast. “Locally, prices have now moved past those record-high levels of early March.”
Diesel prices are also breaking records. AAA says Rhode Island ranks #3 for the most expensive price at $6.31 per gallon and Massachusetts is just behind at #6 with $6.27 per gallon.
AAA says increasing demand and rising oil prices are pushing prices at the pump higher. Crude oil is closing in on $110, which comes after the European Union announced a proposal to ban Russian oil and refined product imports last week.
While prices are expensive in southern New England, those living in California, Hawaii or Nevada are paying the most at the pump — California comes in at the highest with an average of $5.82 per gallon.
Despite the rise in prices, AAA says 42% of people surveyed said gas prices wouldn’t alter their summer travel plans.