With spring making inroads in the Flathead Valley, another sign of the season is arriving as well: climbing gas prices. Montana’s average price for a gallon of fuel in February was $3.01, which is 21 cents higher than the previous year, according to AAA.
As of last week, the price for a gallon of regular gas had climbed as high as $3.39 at some service stations around the Flathead, with diesel climbing toward $4.
Tara Hanley, assistant manager of public affairs for AAA’s Helena office, attributes the increasing gas prices, in part, to the ongoing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.
“It affects the oil and the accessibility of the oil,” she said.
The overseas conflicts are compounding the seasonal increase that always accompanies the summer tourism season, as demand for fuel increases.
“We generally see higher prices when it gets nicer, just because people are traveling,” she said.
Service stations are also transitioning their diesel blends from winter to summer.
As for how high gas prices might go, Hanley couldn’t say.
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