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Increases seem to go with the flow

What is with the ever-fluctuating gasoline prices?

Just when we think they’ve ebbed for the longer term, the pumps show a sporadic, unwelcome increase.

Average retail gasoline prices in the West Fargo, Fargo, Moorhead area have risen 8.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.07/g on Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 73 gas outlets locally.

This compares with the national average that has increased 4.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.31/g.

Believe it or not, in all of this, there might be a shred or two of good news depending upon how you look at it.

Including the change in gas prices during the past week, Sunday’s prices were 9.3 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago. However, on the flip side they are 7.3 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

On the same note, the national average has increased 4.5 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 6.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

The reported blame for the recent upsurge according to a GasBuddy spokesperson is “The national average has picked up in the last week on the apparent start of refinery maintenance season. Refinery production has taken a hit in the last week as companies begin looking towards the summer driving season, utilizing this time of year for maintenance and any upgrades before gasoline demand races higher for the summer season.”

Go figure.

Just when we thought we heard prices would remain somewhat stationary during the heart of this intense winter season -- the two words “summer travel” rear their ugly heads as part of the typical blame game.

For those willing to believe it, as good a reason as any I suppose.

For those who don’t -- it’s really moot anyway because the whole situation as the saying goes “is what it is” and there is nothing we can do if we plan on commuting or doing any travel at all but to continue to pay the piper at the gasoline pumps.