SC gas cheapest in nation for second year

ashain@thestate.comDecember 31, 2013 

Oil Prices

RICK BOWMER/AP

  • Gas gauge

    Average gas prices in South Carolina have been hovering just above $3 a gallon for weeks. A look:

    Columbia

    Tuesday: $3.10

    Week ago: $3.06

    Month ago: $3.19

    Year ago: $3.17

    S.C.

    Tuesday: $3.12

    Week ago: $3.07

    Month ago: $3.16

    Year ago: $3.14

    SOURCE: AAA Carolinas

Palmetto State pumps produced the nation’s cheapest gas for the second consecutive year in 2013, AAA said Tuesday.

Gas in South Carolina, which has the nation’s third-lowest fuel tax, cost $3.24 a gallon on average in 2013.

That was a quarter less than the national norm of $3.49 a gallon – the lowest average since 2010, AAA said. Drivers paid a record $3.60 in 2012.

Other cheap gas states this year included: Mississippi ($3.28), Tennessee ($3.29), Arkansas ($3.29) and Missouri ($3.29), the driving organization said.

Hawaii ($4.24) and Alaska ($3.91) sold the most expensive gas this year followed by California ($3.89), Connecticut ($3.80) and New York ($3.78).

U.S. gas prices have averaged $3 or more per gallon for 1,105 consecutive days, or a little over three years.

And while the average was $3.10 in the Columbia area Tuesday, some local stations have been dipping below the $3 mark for several weeks. South Carolina’s gas prices typically are among the lowest in the nation.

Pump costs could fall next year because gas producers have more of a cushion to withstand spikes. AAA credits expanded production capacity at refineries and more reliance on North American crude oil.

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