As the national average gasoline price backed off by about 4 cents to $3 per gallon during the past week, Oregon′s average price went up by almost a nickel to $3.04.

“Essentially, we still have the same forces driving the price of crude oil, which dipped slightly, closing Monday at less than $74 per barrel and the wholesale gasoline price fell by more than 7 cents to just under $2 per gallon,” said AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Elliott Eki. “As we approach Labor Day, fuel demand likely will go up as families get in their last getaway of the summer before schools reopen, but, once the holiday passes, demand should go down and fuel prices should start falling.”

The headlines, this week though, belong to diesel fuel. In Oregon, the average price of diesel jumped by 15 cents per gallon during the past week, hitting a new record high $3.35. That compares to only a 2 cent per gallon increase in the national average diesel price, which currently stands at $3.12. Of the state′s four measured metro areas, Medford/Ashland has the highest average price at $3.40. According to reports, west coast diesel inventories are tight due to a recent, but brief, refinery problem. In addition, meeting the new lower-sulfur content standards has slowed refinery production.

In California, diesel averages $3.35 per gallon; in Washington, it′s up 17 cents to $3.48; in Idaho, it rose another 15 cents to $3.49; and, in Nevada, it′s $3.23.

At $3.04, Oregon′s average gasoline price climbs from 30th to19th highest in the nation. Hawaii has the highest statewide average price at $3.37. California′s went up to $3.22; Nevada′s crept up to $3.07; Washington′s is up to $3.09, and Idaho′s rose 4 cents to $3.02. South Carolina has the lowest statewide average price at $2.82.