Gas prices 80 cents less per gallon than last summer

Though gasoline prices in the South Sound have risen nearly a dollar a gallon since last winter’s lows, they remain about 80 cents a gallon less than this time last year. reported Tuesday’s average price for a gallon of unleaded regular in the Tacoma area was almost $3.20 a gallon. That compares with $4.02 per gallon a year ago.

Tuesday’s average price is about a cent less than a week ago, but about 12 cents a gallon more than in early June.

South Sound prices remain significantly above the U.S. average of $2.77 a gallon. Gasoline prices in Washington typically exceed the national average because of higher gasoline taxes and because of a limited number of suppliers in this region, according to fuel experts.

Relative bargain prices are still available to astute shoppers. The lowest price fuel in the Tacoma area Tuesday was at an Arco station at 15941 Meridian Ave. E. The cash price for a gallon there was reportedly $2.89 a gallon. Fourteen other stations in Pierce County were selling gas for $2.99 or less per gallon.

In the Olympia area, four stations were selling fuel for $2.99 a gallon. Those include an Arco at 7291 Martin Way E., an APP station at 1312 Fones Road SE, another Arco at 10222 Martin Way E. and a Steamboat Trading Post at 6610 Sexton Drive NW.

In Federal Way, four stations were below $3 a gallon. They were led by Costco at 35100 Enchanted Parkway S., where gas was selling for $2.95 a gallon Tuesday afternoon.

More than a dollar a gallon separated the two states with the highest and lowest gas prices nationwide. Alaska gas prices averaged $3.45 a gallon. In South Carolina, the state with the nation’s lowest gas prices, gas was selling on average for $2.42 a gallon.