Gas prices drop in state

By Mike Benbow

Herald Writer

It doesn’t happen often folks, so enjoy it while it lasts.

The it in this case is the relatively low price of gasoline as we approach Labor Day, the last driving fling of summer.

In a price survey released Monday, AAA Washington noted that the statewide average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline has decreased 14.7 cents since Fourth of July and 17.5 cents since last Labor Day, to the same as the national average of $1.455 per gallon.

Nationally, average fuel prices increased five cents per gallon in the last month. The increase is attributed to a major Midwest refinery outage that has boosted gasoline prices in that region by 20 cents per gallon during the last week.

The fire is expected to force the shutdown of the Citgo refinery for some six months, keeping Midwest prices high.

In Washington state, prices were fairly uniform, ranging from a low of $1.39 in Bellingham to a high in the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett area of $1.54.

Those traveling to the Tri-Cities for the long weekend will find prices averaging $1.53 a gallon. Vancouver averaged $1.44 and Wenatchee averaged $1.45.

AAA Washington urged motorists to make sure their vehicles are properly maintained before leaving home this weekend, and be sure to pack the following items:

  • Properly inflated spare tire.

  • Flashlight

  • Water

  • Food

  • Extra clothing

  • First aid kit

  • Booster cables

  • Warning devices

    Nationwide, AAA predicts that some 33.2 million travelers will take a trip 50 miles or more from home this Labor Day holiday, up from the 32.6 million estimated to have traveled last year.

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