New Jersey is bucking the national trend as gas prices continue to drop here.

AAA has the price of regular gasoline dropping about a penny a gallon from Sunday to a statewide average of $3.42.

Prices have been steadily declining since reaching a peak price of $5.05 a gallon last June, although the pace of decline has slowed a bit in New Jersey.

Nationally, prices have spiked considerably. AAA puts the national average at $3.79.

"Higher gasoline demand amid tight supply and fluctuating oil prices have increased the national average," AAA analysts said, "If demand remains robust as supply tightens, drivers should brace for rising pump prices."

Supply has been tightest on the West Coast, and that is where we have seen some of the most dramatic increases.

California, Oregon and Washington have all seen prices rise between 40 and 50 cents per gallon in the last five days.

Analyst Patrick De Haan from says supply has been squeezed, "refinery issues sending prices soaring in several regions, including the West Coast and Great Lakes."

In New Jersey, supply has not been impacted nearly as severe as other parts of the nation, resulting in a continued price decline.

However, if refineries remain impacted by the aftermath of Ian, we could see prices in the Garden State start to rise again.

Aside from refinery issues in the Gulf of Mexico due to Ian, port closures in Florida have also delayed the import of gasoline. Port Tampa Bay has reopened, and shipments of fuel have resumed, but distribution remains impacted by damage from Hurricane Ian.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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