Gas prices higher elsewhere this holiday

A Web site that tracks gas prices reported that drivers here are paying 19 cents less per gallon of gasoline than the national average.

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in metro Atlanta was $2.46 Monday. Across Georgia, the average was $2.47. Across the nation, $2.65, according to atlantagasprices.com.

While gas prices in neighboring South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama were about the same as in Georgia, the price for a gallon of gas was about a dime more in North Carolina and 19 cents more in Florida.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com, a consumer gas price monitoring service that runs the Atlanta gas price web site, said taxes probably account for about half the price difference between Georgia and Florida.

The rest, he said, might be attributable to Georgia being closer to a major pipeline that runs from Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

Brandon Wright, a spokesman for the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, agreed that gasoline tax variation by state is a key factor.

"That's probably the biggest difference," he said.

Overall, gas prices aren't as low as they were a year ago at Thanksgiving, but they're a lot better than they were in the bad old days of mid-2008.

Last year at this time, Atlanta's average price was $1.75 per gallon. That was down from a $4.13 per gallon average the summer before.

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