The DOE's Energy information Administration's weekly on-highway retail average actually fell in June, but has made up for it in the last two weeks, jumping nearly 12 cents per gallon.
The region with the highest average price was the Central Atlantic, at $4.912 per gallon, followed closely by the West Coast at $4.909. The lowest prices were to be found in the Midwest, with an average retail price of $4.698.
On Friday, crude oil prices hit a new high in intraday trading of $147.27 a barrel, before closing at $145.08. Monday, prices settled at $145.18 a barrel, just 11 cents below its all-time record close of $145.29 a barrel, which was reached July 3.
Crude is trading at nearly twice what it was a year ago.
In related news, in a largely symbolic move, President George W. Bush Monday lifted an executive order banning offshore oil drilling and urged Congress to follow suit. There is also a federal law banning offshore drilling that has been on the books since 1981. Critics say offshore oil drilling would not have an immediate impact on oil prices because oil exploration takes years.
In addition, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said in a broadcast July 13 that oil prices could hit $300 a barrel, especially if ExxonMobil Corp. were to freeze Venezuelan assets again in the dispute over a nationalized oil project in that country, according to the Oil & Gas Journal.