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Whatcom gas now averages $3.65 per gallon — how much higher are prices likely to go?

A few ways to save fuel

With gas prices skyrocketing, saving fuel is essential. Here are a few ways to conserve fuel.
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With gas prices skyrocketing, saving fuel is essential. Here are a few ways to conserve fuel.

A pair of new reports suggest that gas prices are close to peaking across Whatcom County and the nation.

In its weekly report, GasBuddy noted that the average price per gallon in Washington state rose 1.5 cents in the past week, while the national average rose 1.3 cents. That’s much slower than in April, when prices were jumping six to 10 cents in some weeks.

In Whatcom County prices started nudging down this week, according to AAA Washington’s daily fuel gauge report. After hitting $3.67 on Monday, May 6, the average price for a gallon of gas in Whatcom County was $3.65 on May 7.

“It appears that large increases in gas prices have begun to fade to distant memory, lending credibility to the notion that gas prices may be close to peaking for the time being,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at Gasbuddy, in an email.

DeHaan said oil prices have dropped recently and that should continue if the U.S. raises tariffs on China this week. It’s also near the end of the traditional spring season rise, which typically peaks on Memorial Day weekend.

“We’ll likely begin to see prices recede in the month of June, tracking very closely to what we experienced last summer,” DeHaan added.

The federal government is expecting summer gas prices to be higher than last summer, according to an article from The Associated Press. On Tuesday the U.S. government raised its forecast, citing higher margins for refining gas.

Whatcom’s average price is among the highest in Washington state, trailing only San Juan ($4 a gallon), Jefferson ($3.70) and King ($3.66). Skagit’s average price is $3.53 a gallon.

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Dave Gallagher has covered the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Retail, real estate, jobs and port redevelopment are among the topics he covers.
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