Diesel prices decline, Bush looks to Alaska coast for oil

| Tuesday, April 23, 2002

For the second week in a row, diesel prices did not jump - and actually declined in all but two regions of the country (prices in New England stayed the same at $1.39 per gallon; and in the Rocky Mountain area at $1.36).

Meanwhile, the national U.S. average price-per-gallon declined from $1.32 last week to $1.30 this week. In three regions, prices declined one cent. In the East Coast, prices went from $1.32 last week to $1.31 this week; the price-per-gallon was $1.28 last week and $1.27 this week in the Gulf Coast region; and prices were $1.28 per gallon last week in the Lower Atlantic states compared to $1.27 this week. Three regions realized a 2 cent decrease, including California where prices went from $1.45 per gallon to $1.43 this week; the Midwest, where prices were $1.31 last week compared to $1.29 this week; and the Central Atlantic states, where prices were $1.41 per gallon last week and 1.39 this week.

In other oil-related developments, U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton has ordered federal land managers to move quickly to expand leasing within Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve. Lands within the reserve do not require further Congressional approval for oil drilling. The amount of oil under the reserve won't be known until May, when they U.S. Geological Service completes its study of the area.

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