Die Hard, Revisited…

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Aw, shit. You know we’ll bear the brunt of this gas hike too. I wonder if there will be a surge of people at gas stations filling up this weekend in anticipation?

Gasoline prices could rise by about quarter a gallon in the coming days to new record levels, according to a published report Friday.

USA Today, quoting energy experts and analysts, reported that a gain of 24 to 28 cents a gallon is possible as stations scramble to keep up with recent increases in oil and wholesale gasoline prices.

An increase of 24 cents a gallon would put the average retail price of a gallon of regular gas at about $2.16 a gallon, according to the Energy Information Agency, the Department of Energy unit that tracks prices. The EIA’s survey put the average price at $1.928 in Monday’s survey, up 2.3 cents from a week earlier.

The EIA’s earlier record of $2.02 a gallon for regular was hit in May of 2004.

Oil prices hit $55.20 a barrel in trading Thursday, which was within 47 cents of record intra-day levels for crude oil. But prices retreated about $2 a barrel since that high. Gasoline futures set a record at $1.5450 a gallon.

The paper reported that even higher prices could be ahead as increased warm weather driving pushes up demand.

Tom Kloza, senior analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, told the paper that retail gasoline prices lag increases in wholesale prices since Christmas by about 25 to 28 cents a gallon. He says he believes the record prices won’t come until the latter half of March.

But Peter Beutel, president of energy tracking firm Cameron Hanover, said a spike of 24 cents a gallon could happen in the coming days.

“It’s going to be brutal, horrendous,” he told the paper.