Gas prices have been on the climb again. Some observers believe the year 2012 may wind up setting a new record high for the year as a whole.

Prices have increased across the country by an average of 9% in August. The prices have gone the highest and the fastest in the Midwest. A lot of that surge is being hung on the production cuts at four Illinois refineries.

AAA is reporting that at this late stage in the summer season, most vacation drivers who have not yet travelled are pretty resigned to paying whatever they have to at the pump to get away for awhile.

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Tom Kloza, of the Wall Township-based Oil Price Information Service, says this year’s ups and downs at the pump have been mostly up of late, with the national average at $3.70 right now, and New Jersey’s average in the $3.60′s. But will 2012 be a record setter?

Kloza thinks the jury is still out on that one. He says it has been expensive for fuel this year, and what he calls, “front-end loaded,” but he believes we will ‘get a break’ in the last 100 days of the year.

Kloza still expects moderating prices from Labor Day on. He says there is a 50-50 chance this year will set a new record for the average high at the pump.