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Nebraska sets all-time record for gas prices

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Gas prices have hit their highest level ever in Nebraska.

According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas hit $4.11 Tuesday morning, breaking the previous record set in July 2008. Gas in the state is 30 cents more expensive than it was a month ago and $1.22 higher than it was a year ago.

Lincoln's price remained slightly below the all-time record Tuesday, clocking in at nearly $4.15 a gallon, about 1 cent lower than the all-time record set July 14, 2008. Local prices are 29 cents higher than a month ago and $1.26 more than a year ago.

Both the state and local prices for diesel fuel had already set records earlier this month.

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Experts say the high gas prices are largely due to the price of oil, which is hovering around $110 a barrel.

“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” Andrew Gross, an AAA spokesperson, said in a Monday news release. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”

Prices are likely to keep increasing, thanks to the switchover to summer fuel blends and the coming summer travel season.

"Prices later this week could be closer to $5 per gallon than $4, as demand continues to edge higher and inventories of both gasoline and diesel continue to decline, temperatures warm and motorists get back outside and we near the Memorial Day weekend, the start of the summer driving season," said Patrick DeHaan, lead petroleum analyst at gas price comparison website GasBuddy. "While the increases may start to slow in the days ahead as pump prices catch up to oil, there isn’t much reason to be optimistic that we’ll see a plunge any time soon.”

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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