When will gas prices stop rising?

Some analysts are puzzled by the increase, and one says the national average could easily top $4 a gallon this spring.

By Aimee Picchi Feb 19, 2013 11:21AM

Image: Gas prices (Photodisc/SuperStock)The start of 2013 has been tough for consumers. Many saw a chunk missing from their take-home pay when payroll taxes increased. Now they're getting hit at the gas pump, with fuel prices climbing by nearly 14% since Jan. 1 to an average $3.75 a gallon. 

What's behind the jump? Refinery shutdowns are leading "to tighter supply, which also has driven up prices," a spokeswoman for AAA told The Wall Street Journal.

Hess (HES) is shutting down its Port Reading, N.J., refinery, while other refineries have reduced supply because of planned repairs. Refineries often use winter for maintenance, given historically lower demand for gasoline as drivers cut back in poor weather, the Journal notes.

But some analysts are puzzled by the rise, given that gas prices typically see a jump in March and April, when drivers start using their cars more frequently, Business Insider reports.

There's one trend analysts are agreeing on: Prices aren't likely to reverse direction anytime soon. 

"Traditionally, gas prices rise anywhere from 40 to 60 cents a gallon in late March through early May," GasBuddy.com oil analyst Patrick DeHaan told the New York Post. He says if that happens this year, "it will easily send the national average over $4 a gallon."

That's already a reality in some areas. Residents in Southern California are paying the highest prices in the country, with Santa Barbara drivers paying an average of $4.32 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com. The cheapest gas is found in Billings, Mt. -- a hub for state's oil boom -- where a gallon sells for an average of $3.17. 

Some consumers are paying even more: A few locations have reported gas prices of more than $5 per gallon. One station in Los Angeles on Monday was selling regular unleaded for $5.19 a gallon.

At that price, a car with a 17-gallon tank would require more than $88 to fill up. With big bucks flowing into gas tanks, it's possible that consumers will look to cut back in other areas -- and that could create a challenge for the stock market and the U.S. economic recovery.

More on moneyNOW

Feb 20, 2013 7:50AM

I guess prez and family really thought they deserved that nice long weekend of golf and skiing at the tax payers expense while we can barely afford to put gas in our vehicles and food on the table.


It is a really sweet racket the government has going up there, would love to see that expense report.


I guess that cutting spending in government doesn't include their expense account............GO FIGURE!!!!!!!!!

Feb 20, 2013 7:44AM
when are we going to rise up and stop this bull s***
Feb 20, 2013 7:43AM
I see many blaming Bush, Obama and the oil companies. no one mentioned the greed of wall street.

People you need to realize that the Wall street greed group is the ones who are raising the prices of gas at the pump when the demand has lessened. If you want an accurate portrayal of how the gouging of gas is run you should check out the following link from February of 2012.


Feb 20, 2013 7:37AM

When people realize the common everyday working AMERICAN is not in the equation this makes more sense. We are just a funding source and our well being is of no concern to the government. Foreign governments owns more of the US than the AMERICAN people. They are beholding to them and we are up for sacrifice. Politicians are getting rich off of oil and gas so don't expect any help from them.


People struggling to survive and giving up meds and foods to put gas in vehicles while politicians live a grand life at our expense.  Learn to survive and be self sufficient because you are your only hope as the AMERICAN government is out to take all you have.


Beat down citizens have little hope of uprising against the government. They know what they are doing!!! 

Feb 20, 2013 7:22AM
Stop oil speculation on futures.  Impeach obama. Get rid of every one in congress.  This needs to happen now or nothing is going to change.
Feb 20, 2013 7:16AM

Oil companies are crooks, plain and simple.

Feb 20, 2013 6:56AM
Why worry about it? I only put $ 20.00 in the tank at a time, then only use the car when needed, after lining up several things to do in one outing. When it needs more, I put ten dollars in and conserve that as much as I can. I`ve learned to save money in other ways as well, I`ll share one with you. When I buy  fusion splash juice, I pour the glass half full, then add water that has been  boiled, it tastes great and lasts twice as long, saving half of the price of the product. I think it is healthier to drink it this way! The bottom line is how much can you save, to keep in your pocket! 
There are many  ways to cut back, just remember to keep that cash in your pocket!
Feb 20, 2013 6:44AM
Hyper-inflation.  The product of a presidential policy that continues to give more and more money to lazy, low-life, criminal slobs who do nothing but suck from our government breast.  A five dollar meal at McDonalds is now more than seven-fifity.  (just using that as an easily researched example)  The rest of us hard working types are.....screwed as always.
Feb 20, 2013 6:06AM

Where can you get your Internet at speeds 20 Times faster than in the United States, your cable TV and telephone bundled all for $ 38 per month? ... In France... Because the Government owns the Utilities Company...  I would love to see the United States Government do that here and Nationalize the Oil and Gas Companies.   I bet we'd have less gas spills.


If you agree with me then lets start a movement with our elected officials...Instead of bailing out the banks and Hedge Fund people who are running up the price of gas repeatedly over and over again... how about giving all those who actually vote in each of the elections a million dollars or more... I'll bet they could circulate it throughout the economy and buy houses and autos etc...


If you agree e-mail me at   or leave me a message and your e-mail and tel. Number and lets's start some real change... Yes ! II voted for Obama but am Tired of the Congress, especially the Republicans getting away with it and off the hook over and over again !!!


Feb 20, 2013 5:57AM
In America you 'bugger all' for your gas (petrol).
Try living in the UK there they pay US2.00 per liter (that's about a dollar a pint).
0r US 9 + per gallon. In the US it's about US5 a gallon.
Stop moaning you ain't seen nothing yet!!!!  

Feb 20, 2013 5:01AM

Maybe all the food stamp recipients need something to spend all the money they aren't spending for groceries on. But for those of us who still have to pay unbelievable prices for our needs, it makes it really ruff. Can I tell you?  I hope everybody that voted for the current occupant of the White House 1st and 2nd term is happy. But of course, I keep forgetting all of this is George Bush's fault. 

Feb 20, 2013 4:59AM

Ah,,,,,yes i remember the days when gas prices were .23 cents a gallon, how we use to own these gas guzzling cars, and think nothing of it, to take drives in the country,without a thought of how much it would cost us, yes the quality of are lives seem to be slipping away, and it's not going to get better, any time soon ,  unless of course you've found a cash cow,or drive a bicycle.

Feb 20, 2013 4:29AM
Greedy oil company execs. They have to beat the billions in profits they made last year and the years before.
Feb 20, 2013 4:08AM

ok folks, it is against the law (federal) to export american produced CRUDE oil.


 soooo  why is it NOT against the law to export refined products made FROM said american crude oil? 


ask your congressman

Feb 20, 2013 4:03AM
We should have the NCAA keep an eye on fuel prices and Obama !
Feb 20, 2013 3:21AM
Do like they do in the Philippines, start building Trikes (motorcycles with sidecars) also Jeepneys and use them for cheap taxies. Very few people there have cars mainly because it's much, much cheaper to flag down a Trike and get a ride. Motorcycles are usually 125 to 175 cc, good mileage and have protection from the rains or sun. Even more convenient than our intercity public transportation, no waiting at bus stops and a lot cheaper to ride.
Feb 20, 2013 3:20AM
greed, greed and more unchecked greeeeeeeeeeeeed!  Exxon will now make billions more in profits!! Only thinking about it's bottom line and not the consumer..
Feb 20, 2013 3:07AM
maybe we need to ask the bankers an stockmarket, why they are manipulating the price of gas not oil companies they would have us think
Feb 20, 2013 3:02AM
Under Bush drilling on federal lands doubled, taxes were cut and drill baby drill was the slogan of the day. So what happened next ? Gas prices went from $1.00 a gallon in 2001 to $4.30 by 2008. I guess it was Obama's fault, so many republicans are sinking to a new low of retardation, but I guess  ( stupid is as Stupid does )
Feb 20, 2013 2:44AM
anti - obama terrorists...trying to destroy american citizens, tear families apart...harm our country to show how deep and easy it is to corrupt slutty politicians..........all for a lousy fhuken dollar..........
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