Jan 11, 3:21 PM (ET)
By MARK WILLIAMS
Gasoline prices on Monday continued their push toward $3 per gallon. The only question now is when?
Prices have been jumping on the back of a strong oil market where the cost for a barrel has spiked 20 percent in the past month on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Skyrocketing gasoline prices couldn't come at a worse time for motorists, who will see heating bills jump after the worst cold spell in years.
Oil prices are now about three times what they were a year ago.
"There is a long history of tripled oil prices causing consternation among consumers," Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover said in a report Monday. "We are not there, yet, but gasoline prices at more than $3.00 is certainly an unwelcome sign of consumer distress."
Prices rose 1.4 cents overnight to $2.749 per gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Prices have climbed 8.4 cents a gallon in the past week and are 95.5 cents higher than a year ago.
Prices almost always tick up toward the spring as more people begin to drive and refiners switch over to cleaner burning fuels as required by law.