Gasoline prices are getting an early start on their annual spring march higher.
The average U.S. retail price rose 13 cents over the past two weeks to $3.42 per gallon, and within a few days it will likely set a record for this time of year.
The culprits: rising crude oil prices, slowing output at refineries that are undergoing maintenance, and low supplies of gasoline.
These are the kinds of things that push gasoline prices higher every spring after what is normally a lull in the late fall and early winter. But a heavy schedule of January maintenance at West Coast refineries has led to sharply higher prices there. Meanwhile, low inventories have pushed prices higher on the East Coast.
And rising crude oil prices have pushed prices higher throughout the country.
Any chance we can get Congress to investigate this as price gouging?