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At a glance
The nationwide average for a gallon of regular gasoline has risen by 34 cents since July 1. Some states have seen much larger increases because of pipeline and refinery problems, while eight others have seen a decline.
This list shows the top five states in order of the biggest to smallest differences in price between July 1 and Friday, followed by the state’s average gas price Friday. Indiana 59-cent increase, $3.84
Vermont 54-cent increase, $3.69
Illinois 54-cent increase, $4.02
Ohio 53-cent increase, $3.79
Kentucky 53-cent increase, $3.70
Source: Associated Press
Associated Press
Gasoline prices are posted at a service station Friday in Chicago. A rise in the price of crude oil and problems with refineries and pipelines in the Midwest and West Coast have caused prices at the pump to surge upward.

Gas prices surge again; supply cited

Indiana spike among the sharpest

– A surprise surge in gasoline prices is taking some of the fun out of summer. And Indiana leads the pack of party poopers.

The national average for a gallon of gas at the pump has climbed to $3.67, a rise of 34 cents since July 1. But prices in the Hoosier state shot up by 59 cents during the six-week period.

Ohio, Michigan and Illinois have all seen prices spike well above the average, analysts say.

An increase in crude oil prices and problems with refineries and pipelines in the West Coast and Midwest, including a fire in California, are mostly to blame.

Analysts don’t expect gas prices to get as high as they did in April, when 10 states passed $4 a gallon and the U.S. average topped out at $3.94. But this is still unwelcome news in this sluggish economy, because any extra money that goes to fill gas tanks doesn’t get spent on movies and dinners out.

The price at the pump in the U.S. fell more than 60 cents a gallon during the spring as the global economy slowed and turmoil in the Middle East seemed to subside.

But crude oil is climbing again, rising to $94 a barrel from a low of $78 in late June. Production outages in South Sudan and the North Sea, Western sanctions that have cut the flow of Iranian oil, Iran’s threat to block tankers passing through the vital Strait of Hormuz, and fears that the violence in Syria could escalate into a wider regional conflict have driven up oil prices.

Seasonal factors are also sending pump prices higher.

Gasoline usually costs more in the late spring and summer because refiners have to make more expensive blends of gasoline to meet clean air rules and because the summer driving season boosts demand.