National gasoline prices highest since 2014

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Crude oil prices are at the highest level in more than three years, and expected to climb higher, and you may feel pain at the pump during your summer travels.

According to AAA, gas prices have been going up daily since April 9.

The national average hit $2.81 Monday, just seven cents above Kentucky's average, according to AAA. "We expect prices to continue increasing, potentially another 10 cents, through Memorial Day and then will likely stabilize during the summer, with the understanding that if demand spikes, prices are likely to follow".

That's up $0.06 from last week, and $0.17 over the past two weeks, and $0.43 higher than where we were on this same day a year ago.

Gas prices are nearing $3.00 a gallon across the region.

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Knoxville- $2.54, down 3.0 cents per gallon from last week's $2.57.

"The good news is, both at the global level and the USA level, this is occurring at a time when growth is fairly robust", said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit.

For all intents and purposes, $3 a gallon gasoline is back.

Several factors have driven oil prices higher.

If you're planning a road trip this spring and summer, you might be daunted by the recent rise in gas prices. Each of those is more than 25 cents higher than a year ago.

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Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said he doesn't foresee significantly higher gas prices from their current level.

As of Monday, the national average was $2.81 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas, compared with $2.38 a year ago, AAA said.

AAA's April 30 survey of prices in MA finds self-serve, regular unleaded averaging $2.75 per gallon.

At current levels, USA crude oil prices won't noticeably hamper the economy, said Behravesh.

In Oklahoma, gasoline will cost 3 cents a gallon more (6 cents for diesel) because the Oklahoma Legislature voted to raise fuel taxes to spend more on public education.

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Gasoline prices have risen almost 13 percent since the beginning of the year, mainly because the price of crude oil has risen sharply.