Gas prices hit an average of $4.00 in Md

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - The average price of gasoline in Maryland hit a $4 overnight, casting a pall on the holiday weekend road trip.

Baltimore's average is only a penny away from the mark, while the average gallon price in Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. has matched Maryland's all-time record high with $4.05.

Maryland's average price is six cents above the national average and now joins D.C. and 10 other states with an average price at $4 or above. The national average is $3.94.

The rise in prices couldn't come at a worse time as it is ahead of a big weekend holiday.

Heading into the holiday weekend, motorists can still find a 51-cent differential in the price of gasoline across the state. The AAA Fuel Price Finder shows pump prices ranging from a high of $4.30 in Bethesda to a low of $3.80 in Kennedyville.

"Sticker shock is reigning supreme at the pump and from coast-to-coast consumers are currently spending over $1.3 billion a day on fuel expenses," said Ragina C. Averella, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "With fuel prices heading steadily upward, it will be a rough ride ahead at the pumps for the next few weeks, as the monthly fuel bill for gasoline approaches $500 billion on an annualized basis."

Ironically, although motorists are seeing ever-increasing pump prices, there isn't much profit-taking at the local gas station. That's because the "sharp rise in spot and wholesale gasoline prices from January through March led to a 30.5% decline in nationwide station profits," according to the OPIS Retail Fuel Watch for the first quarter of 2012.

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