U.S. May Pay $5 Per Gallon image

Rising oil prices, lower refining capacity, Middle East tension and speculators propelling prices, may make more drivers than ever pay $5 for a gallon.

Regular gas has reached a record February high of $3.65 a gallon, up 42 cents over a year ago, and Motorists along both coasts are paying more: an average $4.20 in California and $3.91 a gallon in New York. A recent fire that’s shuttered a major Washington state refinery may cause the prices rise with 20 cents a gallon this weekend.

Florida drivers are paying $5.89 a gallon near Disney World, while gas at some Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles stations is up to $4.85. President Obama declared that there are no quick, easy fixes and ridiculed any Republican plan for “$2 gas”, hoping to ease griping over a hot button issue in an election year.

“I don’t foresee any situation — even a worsening crisis in Iran — that results in $5 a gallon gas nationally,” said Patrick DeHaan of price-tracker gasbuddy.com. “You’re going to see hot spots … that push prices towards $5, but the national range will be $3.75 to $4.15.” We don’t see a scenario for a national average higher than that for any length of time.”