June 12th, 2008 14:02 EST
Gone are the $2.99/gallon good ol' days
There seems to be no relief in sight for consumers facing record gasoline prices according to an analyst with the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Guy Caruso, who is the head of the agency, told a Congressional committee that oil prices are likely to remain above $100 a barrel, which he said means consumers can expect gasoline prices around $4 per gallon through next year.
In the short term, Caruso said gasoline prices are likely to reach $4.15 a gallon in August but are unlikely to decline much after the peak. The EIA forecasts gasoline to average $3.92 a gallon through 2009.
High prices have reduced demand but the decline is not enough drive down the price at the pump, according to the government agency.
In the long term, government analysts expect new fuel economy requirements along with the use of ethanol by motorists to produce a substantial reduction in U.S. oil consumption and imports.
The agency projects oil prices declining to $86 a barrel in 2010 and then increasing to $107 by 2015.
Both gasoline and diesel prices have set new records in the last 24 hours, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
A gallon of regular self-serve gasoline now sells for an average nationwide price of $4.052 a gallon, $1 over this time last year. Diesel sells for an average $4.792 throughout the country.
The price of both climbed almost a penny in the last 24 hours.
Mid-grade gasoline is also up almost 1 cent, selling for $4.303. Premium sells for $4.457 a gallon.
One year ago regular gasoline sold for $3.066 and diesel sold for $2.893.
Regular gasoline now sells above $4 in 25 states and the District on Columbia.
California has the highest average gasoline price at $4.496. The price jumped 2 cents in the last 24 hours. Gasoline is selling for $4.79 in East Palo Alto, California. That is the highest average price in the country.
Drivers in West Memphis, Arkansas are paying $3.67 a gallon, the lowest average price in the county.
Missouri has the lowest statewide average gasoline price at $3.849. The price climbed .09 cents in the last 24 hours there.