A government report says gasoline demand is nearing an all-time high and that’s causing prices to rise at the pump.

The current statewide average for a gallon of regular fuel is $2.61, the most expensive August price since 2014. AAA Fuel Analyst Don Redman says the price of crude oil is also playing a hand in the price increase.

“It doesn’t help matters that we are looking at the price of crude oil at about 68 dollars a barrel, but added to that is just record high demand for gasoline for this time of the year.”

Redman says the refineries are working near full capacity right now. He adds being in the height of hurricane season is a big concern.

“If we have any major disruption in the refining process or the distribution process it will not bode well for the consumer.”

Redman says the increase in demand for fuel usually coincides with an uptick in the economy.

“This is not only commercial driven but people are driving in record numbers for the holidays, for the summer, this doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. It’s usually a reflection of a growing economy.”

The statewide average for a gallon of gasoline was $2.16 a year ago.

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