A big spike in the price of gas this week in the D.C. metro area can be blamed in part to international tensions. The average price of gasoline in the Washington area increased to $3.55 — an increase of 24 cents a gallon since last week's $3.41.
The national average was lower at $3.51 but also went up by 26 cents.
"Pain at the pump has returned after a relatively quiet start to the year, with double-digit increases in gas prices in the past week, causing motorists and analysts alike to take notice," says John B. Townsend, AAA Mid-Atlantic's manager of public and government affairs.
"Various factors have contributed to this unseasonal rise in gas prices, perhaps the most obvious being the recent rally in crude oil prices," he says. "If crude oil continues to rise, gas prices will likely follow suit."
Crude oil rose almost $2 a barrel this past week due to a weaker U.S. dollar, the continued political turmoil in Egypt and the hostage incident at a energy facility Algeria.