Gas prices make a ‘pit stop’

Gas prices in Gainesville and around the state slowed their upward movement this week.

AAA reports that the average price of regular unleaded in Gainesville decreased six cents over the past week to $3.10. The statewide average, meanwhile, is $3.13 this week, down three cents from a week ago.

The national average is $3.26 after suddenly spiking more than a dime two weeks ago.

News that the large BP-Whiting refinery in Indiana, offline since early February due to power issues, is reopening soon may have contributed to easing pump price nerves, AAA says. The refinery processes nearly 440,000 barrels of crude daily, and the shutdown caused gasoline prices throughout the Midwest to rise.   

“Old man winter is shuffling toward the exit, and with milder weather and longer days looming, the seasonal rise in gas prices is primed to begin,” according to spokesman Andrew Gross. “But it will probably be a slow, wobbly start to rising prices.”