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August 07, 2012 06:08 PM

Gas Prices Rising, To Continue Through Summer

Sioux Falls, SD

For motorists, the price to fill up is something you can never quite predict.

"Well, they're kind of fluctuating now. They go up and then they drop, and then they go up," Sioux Falls resident Miguel Eaglestar said.

This week, prices are up.

"South Dakota is at $3.62 today; we’re just a cent lower than the national average," AAA Spokeswoman Marilyn Buskohl said.

That is a 13 cents increase from last week. The Midwest saw a 38-cent increase in the last month, which starts to add up for motorists like Eaglestar who fills up twice a week. It becomes a rising tally those fueling up can't do much about.

"I don't even think about it" Eaglestar said.

This is where the good news comes in. This time last year over the last 100 days, gas prices were consecutively higher. AAA forecasts that streak may be broken in the next couple of weeks with relief in sight as the season turns.

"We expect that after Labor Day, gas prices should go down again because refineries will be switching to less expensive blends,” Buskohl said.

Higher-price blends are better for the environment over the peak-driving season, but before the switch, easing the pain at the pump is in the hands of the driver.

"You just kind of have to be a shopper and watch because prices can vary a lot within the city" Buskohl said.

July broke a national gas price record. It saw the largest gas price increase in more than a dozen years at 17 cents.

  • Business
  • Gas & Energy
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