Gasoline prices continue three-week rise

Rising gasoline prices don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Gasoline prices have risen daily for more than three straight weeks, and they continued to rise today. The national average grew by a penny to $3.74-a-gallon today, marking a 30 cent rise over the past month.

In Houston, prices at the pump remained steady at $3.55, but they are more than 6 cents higher than last week. Over the past month, Houston drivers have seen a rise of 17 cents at the pump.

Analysts have warned gasoline prices could reach the $4-mark by Memorial Day as tensions with Iran and three northeast refineries keep crude oil prices high.

Republicans have used the rising pump prices as an opportunity to attack President Barack Obama’s energy policy that they claim have spurred higher prices at the pump for consumers.

Texas Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, and 31 Republicans senators outlined steps Wednesday they said Obama could take to lower gasoline prices. The senators called for Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, eliminate regulations on refineries and to end what they call a “permatorium” in the Gulf and outer continental shelf.

“All of these actions are within your administration’s purview, and would signal to markets that America is serious about reducing its vulnerability to geopolitical oil shocks around the world,” the senators wrote. “The actions you take will help determine how long our pain at the pump continues.”

Republicans have pleaded with the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline that GOP leaders claim will create thousands of jobs, reduce the burden on crude oil from the Middle East and reduce prices at the pump.

However, analysts have had mixed opinions about the impact of the Keystone XL pipeline on gasoline prices.

According to a Bloomberg News story, gasoline prices could rise by as much as 20 cents a gallon in the Midwest, Great Plains and Rocky Mountains if the Keystone XL pipeline were approved.

Tom Kloza, the chief analyst for Oil Price Information Service, said the Keystone XL pipeline could lower prices for those in the Gulf area.

“It may lead to lower prices,” he said.