Gas prices throughout the Charlotte region continue to climb as demand picks up for gas moving into the warmer months. The national average price is now over $2 a gallon for the first time this year.
The average price for a gallon of unleaded gas in the Charlotte metro has gone up 12 cents over the last week, according to auto group AAA. The average price in North Carolina rose 7 cents, and the average price in South Carolina rose 11 cents. The average price nationally went up 6 cents.
Refineries are gearing up to start preparing summer-blend gasoline, which is mandated by the EPA and is less prone to evaporate and contribute to air pollution in warmer temperatures, AAA said in a report. Retailers in many parts of the U.S. are required to sell this gas by June 1. Ahead of that, they sell off their existing supply, which affects gas costs.
Additionally, many refineries across the country are conducting seasonal maintenance, which leads to a decline in production and a rise in gas prices.
Drivers in every state except Hawaii are currently paying more than they did a month ago for a gallon of gas, AAA says.
Below are the average gas prices locally and nationally as of early Tuesday, according to AAA, which surveys 120,000 stations nationwide to determine average prices.