Summertime blues: Gas prices to jump 14 percent

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Drivers, take heed: Gas prices are heading up — way up.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the retail price of regular-grade gasoline will average $2.74 per gallon this summer, up from an average of $2.41 a gallon last summer, a jump of 14 percent.

The EIA blamed the increase on Brent crude oil prices, which are expected to average $12 per barrel higher than during last summer.

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Monthly average retail prices of gasoline are forecast to remain largely flat through the summer,averaging $2.78 a gallon from April through June before gradually falling to $2.65 by September, the EIA said.

The agency noted that regions can see significant differences in prices, with monthly average prices in some areas exceeding the national average price by up to 50 cents a gallon. Unplanned refinery outages or other disruptions can also push prices up.

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The EIA forecasts average summer retail gasoline prices to range from a high of $3.22 a gallon on the West Coast, to a low of $2.45 on the Gulf Coast.

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