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Gas Prices of $3+ are the new norm.

Posted by Bill Sluben on March 18, 2010

Sure, we’re all shocked when gas rockets up to $4.  But where is the shock with gas prices sustaining a $3 threshold for an extended time.  It’s gone.  Welcome to the new normalcy at the pumps!

Average gasoline prices likely will exceed $3 per gallon at times this spring and summer, as seasonal demand increases and as a projected economic recovery takes shape and encourages additional consumption, the government said Tuesday, March 9, in its latest short-term energy forecast.

The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration projects that prices for regular-grade gasoline will average $2.84 per gallon this year and $2.96 per gallon in 2011. That would be up from the average of $2.35 per gallon in 2009.

The government, using an updated forecast for global economic growth during 2010, projects that petroleum consumption will increase and push up the price of crude oil. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil — one benchmark tracked by the government — is forecast to exceed $80 per barrel this summer and rise to an average of $82 per barrel by year’s end, up from a low of $71.15 on Feb. 5.

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