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Driving to the beach this summer? It'll cost you more than last year.

Gas prices have dropped since South and North Carolina saw record high prices over Memorial Day weekend.
Gas prices have dropped since South and North Carolina saw record high prices over Memorial Day weekend. AP file photo

North Carolina gas prices, already at a three-year high, continue to tick upward as summer vacation season approaches.

Nationally, prices jumped 6 cents this week, AAA reports. That was in part because of the Trump administration's announcement that it would withdraw from a nuclear-weapons treaty with Iran. The deal had lifted sanctions that impeded Iran's ability to sell oil, AAA said, and reimposing those sanctions could contribute to declining global crude supplies amid growing demand.

Regular gas in North Carolina averages $2.755, AAA reported, up a nickel from a week earlier and 55 cents higher than a year ago. Average prices in Charlotte are about a penny a gallon less than the state average at $2.744. Gas prices reached their all-time peak in the state at $4.085 in 2008.

World demand for oil products is rising, GasBuddy reported Friday, and oil-producing countries appear in no hurry to increase production. Those trends indicate that energy prices will continue to rise.

"With summer driving season beginning this week in Canada and next week in the U.S., concerns over skyrocketing energy prices may just be a glimpse into realities that have almost been forgotten since those more costly days in 2014," analyst Dan McTeague wrote.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051; @bhender
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