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Gas prices nearly $1 per gallow higher today than last year

Average retail gasoline prices in Minnesota have risen 3.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.80 per gallon on Monday.

This compares with the national average that has increased 3.6 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.78/g, according to gasoline price website

Gas prices in Alexandria are hovering around the $2.79/g mark.

Including the change in gas prices in Minnesota during the past week, prices are 96 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 25.1 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 16.7 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 88.2 cents per gallon higher than this day a year ago.

"While conventional wisdom tells us demand will increase as we move toward warmer weather, it appears that gasoline price increases have easily outpaced any potential increases in demand thus far," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst. "On that note, I expect most of the country to flirt with prices near or over $3/gallon come Memorial Day."

DeHaan said plenty of spare refining capacity and lower gasoline demand than years prior will keep gasoline prices from rising to record highs.