Gas prices rise in Bellingham, across nation in past week

Bellingham gas prices jumped 15 cents a gallon in the past week, part of a nationwide trend in response to rising crude oil prices and West Coast refinery challenges.

The average price for a gallon of gas in Bellingham was $3.04 on Monday, May 4, according to data from AAA Washington. While up from $2.89 a gallon a week ago, it’s 96 cents lower than a year ago.

Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, noted that rising crude oil prices and West Coast refinery issues were the biggest factors in a national rise in gas prices. Retail gas prices rose 12.5 cents nationally in the past week, averaging $2.62 a gallon.

Washington state’s average is $2.92 a gallon. Several media reports indicate two California refineries were temporarily shut down a couple of weeks ago.

After a brief dip below some major Washington metro areas, Bellingham now has the highest average. Seattle is next highest at $3.03. The least expensive among major Washington metro areas on May 4 was Spokane, at $2.57 a gallon.