U.S. motorists faced higher gasoline prices for the second week in a row, as the cost for fuel at the pump jumped 2.4 cents a gallon over the last week to $1.096, according to a Dec. 31 report from the Department of Energy.
The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped 31 cents compared to year ago, according to the Energy Department's weekly survey of more than 800 service stations.
After declining for 13 weeks straight following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, gasoline prices have increased in each of the last two weeks as fuel demand rose during the busy holiday driving period, according to DOE.
The national average price for cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline, sold at about one-third of the stations in cities and smoggier areas, was up about one cent to $1.097 a gallon.
While prices on the West Coast declined half a cent, the region continued to have the most expensive gasoline in the nation at $1.131 a gallon.
Motorists in the lower Atlantic states had the cheapest fuel, with averages prices in that region increasing 3.1 cents to $1.034.
San Francisco maintained the dubious honor of holding the top spot among major cities in the United States in terms of fuel costs, with gasoline prices falling 2.1 cents to $1.275 a gallon. Houston, Texas had the best deal for drivers, but even there gasoline was up 1.9 cents to 99.2 cents a gallon.
The report also showed gasoline prices in New York City down 0.6 cents to $1.131; down 1.1 cents in Los Angeles to 96.6 cents; up 0.4 cents in Denver to $1.049 and up 6 cents in Chicago to $1.203.
Separately, the nationwide price for diesel fuel increased 1.5 cents to $1.169 a gallon. It was also up for the second week in a row but was down 35 cents compared to 2000.
Truckers in New England paid the most for diesel fuel at $1.289 a gallon, down half a cent. The Rocky Mountain states had the cheapest diesel at $1.124 a gallon, up 1.8 cents.