We’re in the middle of a colder-than-usual winter, with record snow storms in the Northeast and average-or-better snowfall in the Midwest. After last year’s mild winter, temperatures have gotten much frostier in 2013. Normally, this would lower demand for gasoline and push prices downward. So why, the Washington Post wonders, have gas prices increased for 33 straight days, and are now approaching summer 2012 levels?

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 45 cents in the past 31 days, according to AAA, the fastest run-up since 2005.

Retail gasoline prices have climbed for 33 days in a row. A month ago, a gallon of regular gasoline cost $3.30; on Tuesday it stood at $3.75 nationwide.

Gasoline prices have risen to within a nickel of $4 a gallon in the District as pump prices nationwide have been marching higher — the result of refinery closures and maintenance, lower oil production by Saudi Arabia, market anxiety about tensions in Iran and Iraq, and guarded optimism about the prospects for economic recovery in the United States, Europe and China.

Continue reading →