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AAA: Ky. sees some of the biggest gas price increases in the nation

LEXINGTON — The average gas price in Kentucky climbed 9 cents in the past week, putting it among the nation’s top 10 states for largest weekly increases. On the week, 28 states saw gas price averages increase by at least a nickel, pushing the national gas price average up 6 cents to land at $2.33. That is the largest one-week increase seen at the national level this year.

“Motorists are seeing more expensive gas prices as a result of ongoing refinery problems coupled with crude oil prices hitting their highest level so far this year as global crude inventories tighten,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, public and government affairs manager, AAA Blue Grass. “Inventories are likely to continue to tighten and keep gas prices higher through the end of the month.”

The latest Energy Information Administration weekly report details demand dropping for a second week to total 8.6 million barrels per day. Frigid and severe winter weather has been a driving factor for declining demand and this week’s approaching storm from the Plains to the Northeast has the potential to drop demand further.

The national gas price average is 9 cents more expensive than last month, but 19 cents cheaper than a year ago. In Kentucky, the average price is also 9 cents more than a month ago, but remains 13 cents lower than a year ago.

Quick stats on the nation:

·The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.04), Mississippi ($2.04), Missouri ($2.07), Arkansas ($2.07), Louisiana ($2.07), South Carolina ($2.08), Texas ($2.09), Colorado ($2.09), Kansas ($2.11) and Virginia ($2.11).

·The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: Michigan (+16 cents), Oklahoma (+12 cents), Minnesota (+11 cents), Texas (+11 cents), Kansas (+10 cents), Arkansas (+10 cents), Delaware (+10 cents), Maryland (+9 cents), Iowa (+9 cents) and Kentucky (+9 cents).

AAA offers these tips to motorists to save at the pump:

·If your vehicle’s engine does not require premium or mid-grade fuel, don’t buy it. Using anything other than regular grade is simply a waste of money.

·Don’t top off your gas tank. Stop filling after the automatic nozzle shuts off the second time.

·If you have to replace a gas cap, make sure it is the right one for your car. An ill-fitting cap will increase emissions and trigger the “check engine” light. Keep track of gas mileage. If you notice a sudden decrease in fuel economy, have your vehicle checked by a technician to ensure it is operating properly.

·Check for proper tire pressure, which can fluctuate greatly with changing temperatures.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android.