**FILE** Filler hoses sit outside a gas station in Creve Coeur, Illinois, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
**FILE** Filler hoses sit outside a gas station in Creve Coeur, Illinois, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The national gas price average spiked to $2.74 over the past few days, forcing motorists to reach deeper into their pockets to fuel their vehicles.

However, the cost of gasoline per gallon increased five cents over the past week, compared to the eight cents more motorists paid this year than last year. And, compared to one month ago, gas prices are 28 cents more expensive, as motorists continue to see gas prices increase in every region.

“Gas prices are increasing across the country, but these changes vary by region,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “On the week, motorists in the West Coast, Rockies, Great Lakes and Central regions are seeing some of the largest weekly increases while prices mostly east of the Mississippi have made more moderate jumps.”

As overall refinery utilization stands at 86 percent compared to 93 percent last year at this time, unexpected and planned maintenance continues to be one of the leading factors in why gas prices have continued to trend upward.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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