Gas prices up for holiday

Published 9:41 pm Saturday, June 28, 2014

If you’re traveling for this Fourth of July holiday, be prepared to pay more at the gas pumps.

Gas prices in Virginia have been on a steady climb since June 15, according to AAA Tidewater Virginia. The average price in the state for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.49 per gallon, with the average in Hampton Roads running higher at $3.57.

The Hampton Roads average is 17 cents higher than this week last year and a whopping 34 cents higher than in 2012.

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In fact, said this will be the most expensive July 4 holiday for gasoline since 2008.

Despite the fact that U.S. oil production has ramped up in recent years, fears about violence in Iraq are driving up global oil prices, according to AAA.

“Violence keyed by the militant group known as ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) has continued to expand toward southern Iraq, where the majority of the country’s oil production is located,” according to AAA.

The organization originally had predicted prices would fall 10 to 15 cents per gallon in June. “This means that even though the national average has only increased a few cents per gallon since the Iraq violence intensified, drivers are likely to pay substantially higher gas prices than they would have otherwise,” AAA wrote in a press release.

“Fear about what could happen if Iraqi exports fall prey to violence has altered the calculus for summer oil prices,” GasBuddy chief oil analyst Tom Kloza wrote in a press release. U.S. oil production is as high as it has been since October 1986 and gasoline should be well supplied in all states during the holidays, according to the press release, “but big sellers will probably stay on the sidelines until it’s clear that Middle East exports aren’t threatened,” Kloza added.

Despite the hike, the average U.S. gas price for the first half of 2014 is the cheapest in the last four years, according to The average will work out to about $3.52 a gallon, compared to 2010’s $2.76 a gallon, which said was attributable to the “worst recession of the automobile age.”