Drivers throughout Tucson and Pima County continue paying the lowest gas prices in the state. That’s the good news. The bad news: Prices at the pump continue to rise.

As of last Thursday, April 17, Tucsonans paid on average $3.23 per gallon, slightly lower than the countywide average of $3.242 per gallon, according to data compiled by American Automobile Association of Arizona.

The statewide average per gallon last week stood at $3.341, an increase of a nickel from the previous week. That figure remains 7 cents lower than the national average of $3.418 per gallon, which increased 6 cents from the previous week.

The uptick in fuel prices stems, in large part, from the falling dollar and a drop in crude and gasoline inventories, according to AAA Arizona. Taken together, the factors drove oil prices last week to a new record of $115 per barrel.

To provide relief, Arizona’s own Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, last week proposed a temporary suspension of federal gasoline taxes. The move would halt the 18.4-cent-per-gallon gas tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day, generally a peak travel period throughout the country.

Lawmakers made similar proposals in 2000 when gas prices approached $2 per gallon, according to AAA Arizona.

The group questioned McCain’s plan, which, according to AAA Arizona spokeswoman Linda Gorman, “would result in an estimated $10 billion in lost revenue to the Highway Trust Fund at a time when we need more, not less, investment in our country’s transportation network.”

Gorman, in a release, went on to urge lawmakers to re-evaluate the nation’s energy policy and to create more opportunities to harvest alternative energies “to solve our addiction to oil.”

Drivers in New Jersey pay the least per gallon of gas at $3.156 per gallon. In California, drivers pay the most at $3.822 per gallon.

The Tucson price of $3.23 represents a 4.6-cent increase from the previous week. A gallon of premium fuel last week cost average of $3.562, and the price of diesel rose to $4.03 per gallon.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.