Houston - U.S. motorists paid record high prices for gasoline in 2012, as severe weather and political tensions drove up the cost of fuel.
The national average price of gasoline in 2012 was $3.60 a gallon, nine cents more than the previous annual record set last year, said Heathrow, Fla.-based AAA, the nation's largest motoring group. Prices touched $3.94 a gallon on April 5 and 6 after crude oil rallied as the United States and European nations imposed an embargo on Iranian oil exports to pressure the Persian Gulf nation over its nuclear program. Prices sank as low as $3.22 a gallon on Dec. 20 amid lower demand and higher supply in winter, when motor fuel faces looser emissions regulations.
Hawaii, Alaska and California were the three most expensive states, while South Carolina, Missouri and Mississippi were the cheapest.
- Bloomberg News