Gas prices hit another record high

National average for a gallon of regular is now nearly $3.09, the third record day in a row.

NEW YORK ( -- Gasoline prices hit a record high for the third straight day Tuesday, according to the daily reading on gas prices from AAA.

The motorist group says the average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline was $3.087 in its latest reading, which is based on a daily survey of purchases at up to 85,000 gas stations. That's up from Monday's record of $3.073 a gallon, and the Sunday reading of $3.064.

Before this week's record, the highest price ever recorded in the survey was $3.057, which was set Sept. 4 and Sept. 5, 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which disrupted refinery operations and pipelines and caused a temporary spike in prices.

California had the highest average price, with a gallon of self-serve unleaded costing $3.478.

South Carolina had the cheapest gas, but it is also creeping toward the mark of $3 a gallon, with an average price of $2.838. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia now have average prices at or above $3 a gallon.

The Energy Information Administration's weekly survey of service station prices also found Monday a new record high of $3.10 a gallon for unleaded. That was up 5 cents from a week earlier and up 16 percent over year-ago levels.

While crude oil prices have fallen over the last few weeks and oil supplies are high in the United States, problems at several refineries have crimped gasoline output ahead of the summer driving season.

The refinery problems include fires, power outages, and longer than usual maintenance periods. Top of page