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Gasoline costs inch higher
AAA report shows slight uptick in pump prices as market still reflects pre-Hurricane Rita concerns.
September 27, 2005: 8:37 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Retail gasoline prices climbed for the second straight day Tuesday, edging slightly higher, according to AAA's daily fuel gauge report, as the market continued to price in pre-Hurricane Rita fears.

The national average for regular unleaded gasoline at the pump climbed just over a penny to $2.813 a gallon from $2.80 Monday, according to the travel club.

Gasoline prices have fallen steadily since Labor Day, when prices crested at $3.057. Pump prices surged after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast more than three weeks ago and were expected to spike before Hurricane Rita hit the Gulf Coast.

The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.886 a year ago, AAA reported.

Rita caused significant damage when it slammed into the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast early Saturday morning with 120 mph winds, although it was less destructive than Hurricane Katrina.

While crude oil output was shut by the storm, many Texas refineries were spared.

The publisher of the Lundberg survey, a comparable study of gas prices around the U.S. released Sunday, believed that prices will probably fall another 10 to 20 cents per gallon once refineries shuttered by Katrina and Rita come back online.

Mid-grade and premium gasoline also climbed across the country Monday. The nationwide average at the pump for mid-grade gasoline rose to $2.988 from $2.971 a gallon Monday. Premium gasoline rose by just under two cents to $3.095 a gallon from $3.079, AAA reported. Diesel prices were relatively unchanged, edging up to $2.866 from Monday's price of $2.864.

AAA's "Daily Fuel Gauge Report" revealed that gasoline in Hawaii was the most expensive in the country, with the average cost of regular unleaded being $3.271. Gas in Oklahoma was the cheapest, with regular unleaded at $2.604, on average.


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