Diesel prices continue to rise, Mideast unrest among the reasons

| 4/2/2002

Diesel prices per gallon rose this week contributing to a national U.S. average of $1.29, compared to $1.28 last week. Once again, California posted the highest price-per-gallon of $1.46 (compared to $1.45 last week).

The Central Atlantic states earned second runner up with prices at $1.37 compared to $1.36 last week. In New England prices rose to $1.35 per gallon this week from $1.34 last week.

In the Rocky Mountain region, prices rose to $1.32 cents per gallon from last week's total of $1.29; prices in the Midwest rose to $1.28 from $1.26 per gallon; the Lower Atlantic states saw prices rise to $1.26 per gallon from $1.25; and East Coast prices rose to $1.29 per gallon from $1.28.

Meanwhile, analysts noted three reasons why the price of fuel keeps going up: healthier economic activity in the United States and other countries is increasing demand; major producers appear to be keeping a commitment made last year to reduce oil supplies to increase prices; and uncertainty about war in the Middle East.

In other developments, the Associated Press reports that an Interior Department study says caribou and other wildlife are vulnerable and may face substantial risk if oil is developed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

The report is to be released by the U.S. Geological Survey. It says that in many cases, the risks to a variety of wildlife could be reduced by restrictions and close management of oil exploration and production. The study makes no recommendation on whether the refuge should be developed, but it is clearly contrary to the administration's desire to drill in Alaska.