New York Gas and oil prices pushed further into record high territory Tuesday, with retail gas reaching a national average of $3.51 for the first time and crude nearing $120 as the dollar fell to a new low against the euro.
At the pump, the national average price of a gallon of regular gas rose 0.8 cent Tuesday to $3.511, according to a survey of stations by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices for diesel - used to transport most food, industrial and commercial goods - also rose overnight to a new record of $4.204 a gallon.
Gas prices are nearly 66 cents higher than last year, when they peaked at a then-record of $3.23 in late May, and have prompted many analysts to raise their estimates of where gas is going to go.
"I wouldn't rule out the possibility that we could get to $4," said Antoine Halff, an analyst at Newedge USA LLC.
Other analysts are less certain. Fred Rozell, retail pricing director at the Oil Price Information Service, thinks gas prices will rise only another 10 cents to 20 cents nationally.
Gas prices are rising for many reasons, including oil's record run. Investors and speculators are investing in commodities like oil as safer investments than stocks and bonds because of the weak U.S. dollar.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose to a new trading record of $119.90 before retreating to settle up $1.89 at a record $119.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On Capitol Hill, some lawmakers attempted to escalate scrutiny of oil and gas companies.
"People deserve a more scrupulous cop on the beat in these markets," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., who along with Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., called for the Justice Department to investigate possible market manipulation.