ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 15, 2001--With the White House poised to unveil its national energy policy proposals Thursday, the average price of regular unleaded gasoline has jumped more than 16 cents per gallon in the last month to $1.718 per gallon, according to AAA's monthly Fuel Gauge Report.

AAA said the continuing increase in gasoline prices is broad-based with motorists in many states and local areas now paying the highest prices ever. With inventories of gasoline on the rise, however, the price of fuel may be about to peak.

In California, motorists are paying a record average price of more than $2 per gallon. In Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Ohio, motorists are paying an average price in excess of $1.80 per gallon.

AAA's monthly Fuel Gauge Report shows prices are highest in the Great Lakes states, up an average 24 cents to $1.86 per gallon since mid-April. In the West, the average price is $1.74 per gallon, up 10 cents in the last month. In the Midwest, prices rose 18 cents per gallon to average $1.74 and increased 19 cents in New England to $1.71. Prices in the Mid-Atlantic states jumped 17 cents in one month to average $1.69 per gallon.

Motorists in the Southwest are paying an average of $1.64, with prices up an average of 13 cents. In the Southeast - the region with the lowest average prices -- the cost of gas is nine cents higher in the last month, now $1.59 per gallon.

This month the nationwide average price of gasoline is 22 cents higher than one year ago when the average price was $1.498 per gallon. May is the 16th consecutive month of self-serve regular gasoline prices above $1.30 per gallon. Nationwide, the price of self-serve, mid-grade averages $1.824 per gallon, an increase of 17.1 cents from last month, and 21.7 cents more expensive than last year.