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Gas prices continue to climb
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Even in the face of eroding demand for gasoline nationwide, all of the metro areas tracked by AAA Northern California have climbed past the $4 per gallon mark for regular, unleaded. California now has the second highest state average gas price among all 50 states.

According to AAA, every Northern California metro area tracked by the organization saw an increase of at least 24 cents at the pump over the past month. The Golden State’s average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $4.17, up 26 cents since last month’s report on March 8. For perspective, that’s $1.06 higher than California’s average price on this date last year.

Northern California gas prices are now averaging $4.17, up 27 cents from last month. In the Modesto area, which includes Turlock, motorists can expect to pay an average price of $4.10, which is a 26-cent increase. The national average price of $3.79 is up by 27 cents, which is 93 cents more than the national price on this date last year, when it was $2.86.

“Investors continue to be the largest force driving the market price for oil. Instability in the Middle East and North Africa still has them concerned about the world’s supply of crude, which has helped to keep oil prices on the rise,” explained AAA Northern California spokesperson Matt Skryja. “Domestically, weakness in the U.S. dollar has also contributed to rising crude prices. When the dollar weakens, investors, including those holding foreign currencies, are more likely to invest in U.S. commodities, including crude, which pressures the prices upward.”

The least expensive average price in Northern California can be found in Marysville, where regular is $4.09. Of all the metro areas in Northern California where gas prices are tracked by AAA, Eureka’s average price of $4.34 is the highest. It’s also the highest price reported by AAA in the lower 48 states. The least expensive gasoline in the country is found in Casper, Wyo., where for the second consecutive month the average price of gas is $3.37. Wailuku, Hawaii, holds the dubious crown for the highest average price in the nation, at $4.76 per gallon.