WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Tuesday is the 1,000th consecutive day that average U.S. retail gasoline prices stayed above the $3 per gallon mark, motor club AAA reports.
AAA said the average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline Tuesday was $3.51. That's about the same as the average reported one month ago but more than 30 cents cheaper than the same time last year.
Refiners use different additives in gasoline during the summer ozone season, which lasts from June 1 to Sept. 14. Winter-grade fuel is cheaper to produce, meaning consumers can typically expect to pay less at the pump.
Bob Darbelnet, president and chief executive officer at AAA, said $3 per gallon gasoline is likely a thing of the past.
"While a few lucky drivers may occasionally pay less than $3 per gallon, the national average is likely to remain more costly into the future," he said in a statement Monday.
AAA said it expects the average retail price will stay above the $3.00 per gallon mark for the foreseeable future, barring another economic meltdown.
The motor club said the streak for a national average price in excess of $3 began Dec. 23, 2010.