By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Gasoline prices are beginning to rise, but not as fast as they might in a normal year.
"We are starting to see an upswing with demand," said Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. "That's translated over the last couple of weeks to increases at the pumps. Prices are on the upswing. This week, nearly every state pushed more expensive than we saw last week. That is mostly due to states and businesses reopening."
These are still the cheapest gas prices headed into the Memorial Day holiday since 2003.
"Today's national average is $1.88," Steward said. "In Kansas, the average is $1.58, which is seventh cheapest in the country."
Reno County's average as of Tuesday is $1.55 with Hutchinson in the $1.52 to $1.55 range.
"Certainly, it is going to take awhile for demand to get back where it typically is this time of year," Steward said. "We are seeing a slow increase in that, which is reflected in that modest increase at the gas pumps that we've been seeing over the last week or two."
This week also brings an end to the EPA's waiver on the sale of winter blend gasoline. Summer blend gasoline is more expensive to make, so prices may go up on that fact alone.