Diesel prices down from last year

The national average price at the pump for a gallon of diesel fuel is less than $1.30 for the fourth straight week, and remains well below last year's average, according to the Dept. of Energy. However, The New York Times today reported plans for a U.S. attack on Iraq, which could push crude prices up when New York Mercantile Exchange opens on Monday. An assault to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein may disrupt shipments from the Middle East, which produces a third of the world's oil. Prices doubled to $40 a barrel after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, but fell back to $20 five months later. The average price recorded this week by the department's Energy Information Administration was $128.9, up 0.8 cents from the previous week and down 11.8 cents from a year ago. The Lower Atlantic region recorded the lowest average price at $124.6, down 11 cents from last year. The Gulf Coast average is $124.8, down 12.9 cents from 2001. California's pump price is the highest at $1.43, but is down 19.3 cents from the year before.

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