Fuel prices fall for 7th straight day

Gasoline at the pump hits levels not seen since June 9.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gas prices declined for the 7th straight day Thursday, according to a nationwide survey of credit card swipes.

Regular: The average price of gasoline in the U.S. was $4.026 a gallon, down 1.6 cents from $4.042 the day before, according to a daily survey from motorist advocacy group AAA.

Gas prices at the pump spiked to $4.114 a gallon last week Wednesday and stayed there for two days before falling. Today's AAA survey marks the lowest price since June 9, when it hit $4.023 a gallon.

Gas prices have risen more than 36% over the past 12 months, which has played a big role in squeezing working families.

Gasoline price changes typically lag behind oil prices. The price of oil has risen more than 72% over the last 12 months. But as the high cost of fuel cut into demand, crude prices have shed more than $23 a barrel since hitting a record high on July 11.

Ethanol: The price of E85 ethanol, which is made primarily from corn, fell a penny to $3.249 a gallon on average, AAA reported.

While ethanol is derived from renewable sources, it is also less efficient than gasoline. As a result, a car running on E85 would pay the equivalent of $4.276 per gallon to get the same mileage as gas, the AAA survey estimated.

Diesel: The average price of diesel fuel, which is used to power most trucks and commercial vehicles, fell slightly to $4.788 a gallon from $4.802, according to the AAA survey.

Diesel remains more than 62% higher than last year. And because of its use in transporting goods, high prices for diesel have affected the prices of other items.

State prices: The AAA survey averages data from credit card swipes at 85,000 fuel stations around the country.

The survey found that 24 states suffer from gas prices $4 a gallon or higher.

Gas in Alaska, the state with the highest prices, rose to $4.695 a gallon from $4.689 the day before. Hawaii, the state with the second highest prices, saw average prices climb to $4.481. California prices fell to $4.396 on average.

Drivers in Oklahoma, the state with the cheapest gas, saw prices fall to $3.793 a gallon. In Missouri, the next cheapest state for gas, drivers paid $3.821 on average, followed by Minnesota at $3.822.

Drivers in Hawaii, the state with the most expensive diesel, saw prices rise to $5.419 a gallon, while diesel was cheapest in Oklahoma at $4.585. To top of page

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