WASHINGTON – As of June 1, U.S. retail gasoline prices have for the first time since October surpassed $2.50 at $2.52 a gallon according to the Energy Department, reported Reuters.
The national price for regular unleaded gasoline jumped about 45 cents during May, but it was still down $1.45 from a year ago, the department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly survey of service stations.
The jump in pump costs reflects the rise in crude oil prices, which settled at a 7-month high on Monday of $68.58 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to Reuters.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu warned if crude oil costs climb "considerably higher," then the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will need to boost its oil production to help stabilize prices.
The EIA's weekly survey found the West Coast had the most expensive gasoline at $2.68 a gallon, up 11 cents from last week. By city, San Francisco had the highest price at $2.77, up 13 cents.
The Gulf Coast states had the lowest regional price at $2.39 a gallon, up 7 cents. Houston had the cheapest city pump price at $2.32, up 5 cents.
The agency also said gasoline prices were up 10 cents at $2.75 in Chicago; up 10 cents at $2.74 in Los Angeles; up 6 cents at $2.65 in Seattle; up 11 cents at $2.63 in Cleveland; up 9 cents at $2.60 in Miami; up 7 cents at $2.49 in New York City and up 11 cents at $2.46 in Boston.
Separately, the average price for diesel fuel increased 8 cents to $2.35 a gallon, down $2.36 from a year ago, but still the highest price since late December, the EIA said.
The West Coast had the most expensive diesel at $2.46 a gallon, up 8 cents. The Midwest region had the cheapest diesel fuel at $2.32, up 9 cents.