Filling up? Gas prices rise in DC area after winter blast

The blast of winter weather across the U.S. last week is “causing pain at the pump for area motorists,” AAA Mid-Atlantic said — including a 15-cent jump per gallon in Maryland.

Overall, gas prices across the entire D.C. metro area jumped 11 cents through the end of last week, the group said. It blames the “Texas Freeze,” which knocked out production at Gulf Coast oil refineries last week.

Nationwide, the average price at the pump increased 10 cents last week to $2.60, according to the Oil Price Information Service.

In the D.C. area, gas prices across Maryland rose the most — 15 cents per gallon, up from $2.48 the week before. Virginia drivers ended the week paying 10 cents more per gallon, according to AAA. Gas prices rose 9 cents in D.C., but prices there remain the highest in the region at $2.74 a gallon — 14 cents higher than the national average.

“As a result of the deadly winter storm across the nation, gasoline prices are shooting higher across the Washington metro area,” said John B. Townsend, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, in a news release. “It is a surprising development in any February. That’s not lost on consumers.”

The spike in gas prices comes even as there is lower demand for motor fuel, according to OPIS. Overall, local and national gas prices have already topped their 2020 highs. Last year, the average high was $2.59 nationally and $2.55 in the D.C. Metro.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said gas prices will likely continue climbing because crude oil costs are high. Average gas prices have risen 46 cents since Nov. 20.

The highest average price in the U.S. is $3.57 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lowest is $2.20 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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