Gas prices rose another 5.5 cents a gallon in Chattanooga last week, continuing a month-long rise in fuel costs that has pushed up the average price at the pump in the past month by nearly 33 cents a gallon from the February lows.
According to a gas price survey of 170 area gas outlets in Chattanooga by GasBuddy.com, the average price of a gallon of gas in Chattanooga started this week at $1.82 per gallon — the highest price so far in 2016.
Despite the local jump in prices over the past month, however, Chattanooga gas prices, on average, were still 16 cents per gallon below the U.S. average of $1.98 per gallon. Chattanooga gas prices also were still 23.7 cents per share below a year ago.
On Monday, a pair of gas stations on Holtzclaw Avenue —Mapco and Speedway — were selling gas Monday at the lowest price in the region, $1.67 per gallon.
But for the first time this year, the average price of a gallon of gas in Chattanooga rose above nearby markets such as Knoxville and Huntsville. In Knoxville, regular gas sold this week at an average $1.77 a gallon, a nickel per gallon below Chattanooga. Huntsville was even cheaper with an average gas price of $1.75 a gallon for regular.
"With the U.S. average price of gas closing in on the $2 level, a price not seen since late December, it reflects a real paradox; we see simultaneously both a stark increase — 25 cents per gallon in the past few weeks — and a reminder of how much we're still saving," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy. "Even with the anticipated rise in retail prices to accommodate 'summer blend' gasoline regulations, and even with a 54 percent increase in crude oil from $26 to $40 for the benchmark West Texas Intermediate the national average price of gas today remains some 45 cents lower than where we were exactly one year ago."
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6340.
This story was updated March 21 at 10:10 p.m. with more information.