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Motorists Pay More At The Pump [AUDIO]

You may have noticed, you’re paying a little more at the gas pumps in New Jersey.

gas pump
Tom Merton, Getty Images

The average price of a gallon of regular is about $3.39, up three cents from a week ago, but still much lower than a year ago, when motorists were paying $3.64.

“On a larger scale, there’s some enthusiasm about world economic growth and U.S, economic growth, so that’s led to a little bit of a wobbling higher for gasoline prices on the coasts,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with Gas in Wall. “There’s also this notion that people will drive more between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Sometimes, the hedge fund community likes to look for the best things that can happen and are putting more money into crude oil and gasoline futures and that’s led to a gentle lift through much of the country as well.”

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In the midwest, prices are about one dollar higher.

“It’s all about refining capacity and constraints. On the east coast and the gulf coast, refineries are operating at pretty high capacity and we’re getting more gasoline here on the east coast from Texas and Louisiana refineries. We’re also still getting some gasoline from Europe. In the center of the country, there’s a major reconfiguration of refineries going on.”

As for the summer, Kloza expects prices will be close to what they were last summer.

“I think we’re ok here. I think we may actually see New Jersey prices fall above year ago levels in the next few weeks, but that’s because gasoline prices were plunging in May and June. The one thing we have to worry about is that we’re more dependent than ever on the U.S. gulf coast. Should we have some hurricanes, we could see some very short spurts higher.”

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