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AAA: Gas prices to continue rising

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LAWTON, Okla._ Gas prices are on the rise across Oklahoma due to the political contentions in Russia as well as the shift into spring, according to AAA.

The average price in southwest Oklahoma Friday was $3.29 per gallon, which AAA says is up more than 20 cents over last month. Customers are feeling the impact at the pump.

"Little by little it sneaks up on you," says Chris Glenn, of Lawton.

Chuck Mai, a spokesman with AAA Oklahoma says gas prices "will continue to rise a little bit" as we move into April and May.

Mai says the spring time is when gas prices typically go up, but this year the spike is happening earlier. Refineries are in a transition period as they begin producing a special blend of oil for the summer months.  

"The EPA in their infinite wisdom determined that cities need to sell cleaner burning fuel in the summer time to reduce smog," says Mai.

The political turmoil in Ukraine is also not helping the situation as Russia is the third largest oil producing country in the world.

"International geopolitics do play a large role in determining what we pay at the pump here in Lawton and across Oklahoma," says Mai.

Rick Moe is the owner of Mac's Grocery in Lawton and says customers are taking notice and changing their behaviors.  

"They'll just put in $5, $10, $20 at a time," says Moe.

Glenn says he is feeling the pinch at the pump and hoping the prices start heading in the opposite direction.

"A lot of people don't think a few cents matters, but it does over time," says Glenn.

AAA expects gas prices to go up 10-15 cents between now and May, but they say drivers should see some relief at the pump when summer arrives.

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