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Gas prices to be slightly lower this summer

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As the summer driving season gets underway, look for gasoline prices to be slightly lower this summer, compared to last year. That’s the prediction from Patrick DeHaan of the gas price tracking website GasBuddy.com.

“By and large, there will be slightly lower prices. I’ll emphasize slightly. Motorists probably won’t feel that prices are lower than last year. You’d likely have to do the math and crunch numbers. But by and large, summer should feature prices that are a few cents lower per gallon on average than where they were last year,” says DeHaan.

Although gas prices should be a bit lower, DeHaan notes there’s a lot of variety between price levels from region to region right now. Illinois, Iowa and Missouri are among the inland states experiencing lower gas prices than last year, from 10 to 30 cents lower. Meanwhile about half of the 50 states, mostly along the east and west coasts, are seeing gas prices that are 10 to 30 cents higher on average.

DeHaan says the reasons for differing gas prices include heavier maintenance schedules at Gulf Coast refineries. Meanwhile, West Coast refineries are paying more for crude oil than refineries in the Rocky Mountain states and upper Midwest.