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      Gas prices set to break new record

      The national average price of gasoline will surpass $3.00 per gallon Tuesday for the 1,000th consecutive day for the first time on record, according to AAA.

      / File


      The national average price of gasoline will surpass $3.00 per gallon Tuesday for the 1,000th consecutive day for the first time on record, according to AAA. The current streak began on Dec. 23, 2010. AAA forecasts the national average will remain above $3.00 per gallon for at least another thousand days barring a major economic recession.

      "Georgia gas prices didn't reach $3.00 a gallon until January 6, 2011," said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman, The Auto Club Group. "Prices fluctuated some, but have remained above $3.00 since February 4, 2011 (956 days). While Georgia motorists may get lucky and occasionally pay less than $3.00 per gallon in the future, $2.00 gas prices are mostly a thing of the past."

      Monday's national average is $3.52 per gallon. Gas prices on average have remained above $3.50 per gallon for the majority of days during the current streak, and AAA projects the national average will remain higher than $3.50 per gallon tomorrow. Since the current streak began, consumers will have paid a national average of:

      -$3.25 per gallon or higher for 913 total days
      -$3.50 per gallon or higher for 643 total days
      -$3.75 per gallon or higher for 189 total days
      -$4.00 per gallon or higher for 0 days

      Gas prices first surged above $3.00 per gallon for eight days immediately following Hurricane Katrina from Sept. 3-10, 2005. The longest previous streak above $3.00 per gallon was for 244 days from Feb. 17-Oct.17, 2008. The national average fell below $3.00 per gallon for 796 days from Oct. 18, 2008-Dec. 22, 2010 due to a weaker economy, which demands less gasoline and oil. The national average tomorrow will have remained above $3.25 per gallon for 265 consecutive days.

      The national average price of gas so far this year is $3.57 per gallon. In Georgia, it is $3.46, but this average should drop through December as demand declines during cooler months. Last year was the most expensive year on record with an annual average of $3.60 per gallon ($3.49 in Georgia), followed by an annual average of $3.51 per gallon in 2011 ($3.43 in Georgia). The average U.S. household in 2012 spent $2,912 on gasoline, or just under four percent of income before taxes, according to the Energy Information Administration.

      The most expensive daily national average during the current streak was $3.98 per gallon on May 5, 2011. In Georgia the most expensive was $3.95 on May 13, 2011. The lowest daily national average was $3.01 per gallon on December 23, 2010. In Georgia, it was $3.01 on February 4, 2011.

      Forty-six percent of adults believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.00 per gallon, according to a consumer index developed by AAA. Sixty-two percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $3.50 per gallon and 90 percent believe gas is too high when it reaches $4.00 per gallon. Sixty-two percent of Americans reported offsetting high gas prices by changing their driving habits or lifestyle.

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