Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Gas prices increasing

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BATON ROUGE - In the last two weeks, gas prices have surged above the $2 mark and experts warn they could continue to rise over the next few weeks.

The state average is now $2.16; in Baton Rouge, the average is $2.14. The price for a gallon of regular has gone up 35 cents in a month.

The transition from winter blend to summer blend gasoline always increases prices this time of year. Analysts are certain gas prices will continue to rise beyond that. GasBuddy.com predicted the next round of increases.

Since the first week of February, wholesale prices nationwide have increased an average of 54 cents a gallon. The price of oil fell by $2.82 to close at $48.17 a barrel Thursday, but the price of gas is going up. One analyst says it's not just because of the blend switch.

"We've had an explosion at a refinery in California, which now pushed those prices up to almost $3 gallon in California; we have some work stoppages this time of year; some is strike related," said AAA Public Affairs Director Don Redman.

Hundreds of workers in Louisiana went on strike recently. A dozen other refineries had workers do the same in California, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Consumers hope things won't approach record highs of recent years.

"You'll have to cut back on how much traveling you do if the gas goes back up to almost $4 a gallon," said Kevin Ellis.

Experts say consumers can expect a 10 cent increase week after week over the next few weeks.


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