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More pain at pump for U.S. drivers

July 22, 2013 at 8:37 AM

WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) -- Gasoline prices jumped nearly 10 cents from the June average, motor group AAA reported Monday.

AAA reports a national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline of $3.67, a 6-cent increase from last week and nearly 10 cents higher than the June average. AAA reported the average national price last year was $3.46 per gallon.

Midseason refinery issues in the Midwest pushed gasoline prices to more than $4 for the region. For a state average, Connecticut had the highest price Monday with $4.02, in part because of a higher tax.

Higher crude oil prices account for a portion of the gasoline price increase for July. Crude oil was up 38 cents in early trading Monday at $108.26 per barrel.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Friday it costs $1.18 per gallon to drive an electric vehicle compared with conventional vehicles. He said the sale of electric vehicles in the United States doubled in the first six months of the year compared to the same time in 2012.

"More and more Americans are taking advantage of the low and stable price of electricity as a transportation fuel, and that's very good news for our economy as well as the environment," he said in a statement.

The U.S. Energy Department expects gasoline prices to stay around $3.50 for the summer.

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