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Charlotte-area gas prices are up 6 cents over the last week

Heavy midday traffic on Highway 160 near Interstate 77 in Fort Mill, on Feb. 25.
Heavy midday traffic on Highway 160 near Interstate 77 in Fort Mill, on Feb. 25. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Gas prices in the Charlotte region and the rest of the U.S. continue to climb thanks to a pickup in demand and scheduled oil refinery maintenance that disrupts production.

As of early Tuesday, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas in the Charlotte metro area had risen 6 cents over the last week, according to auto group AAA. Average costs climbed 5 cents in North Carolina and South Carolina, and the national average price went up 3 cents.

Prices at the pump have risen for two weeks straight. But that’s typical this time of year, AAA said, because people are driving more and refineries are switching to summer-blend gasoline, which is more expensive to make but required because it is causes less air pollution at warmer temperatures.

South Carolina gas remains among the cheapest in the U.S. at $1.76 a gallon. New Jersey drivers are paying the least for gas, at $1.73 a gallon, while California drivers pay the most, $2.69 a gallon.

Below are the average prices for Charlotte, the Carolinas and the rest of the U.S. AAA surveys 120,000 stations nationally to determine average prices.

Charlotte

North Carolina

South Carolina

U.S.

Current

$1.86

$1.91

$1.76

$1.98

Week ago

$1.80

$1.86

$1.71

$1.95

Year ago

$2.29

$2.30

$2.11

$2.42

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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