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Political unrest, demand fuel high gas prices

April 17, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Gas prices in Hagerstown on Monday averaged about 35 cents more than a month ago, with officials saying unrest in the Middle East and increased demand were largely to blame.

Gas prices in Maryland hit $3 on April 26, 2006, and AAA spokesman Tony Green said he is not ruling out the possibility that prices could reach that mark again this month.

Gas prices in Hagerstown on Monday were about 7 cents higher than at the same time last year, according to AAA records.

The price for one gallon of regular fuel in Hagerstown averaged $2.87 Monday. That price matched the Maryland and national average, according to AAA documents.

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The price one month ago was $2.52.

"I think demand is the main reason," Green said.

The average price for one gallon of regular gas in Pennsylvania was $2.81; the average price in West Virginia was $2.94.

AAA officials said that the price of gas rose six cents between March 12 and 26, and that prices rose another six cents in just two days the following weekend. The average price of one gallon of regular fuel in Maryland two months ago was $2.20, Green said - 66 cents lower than Monday's average.

"What we are witnessing are the effects (that) two variables - geopolitical unrest in the Middle East and domestic demand - can have on gas prices," AAA spokeswoman Ragina C. Averella said.

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