Brace Yourself, $3 Gas Is Coming Back Average national price climbs, even though driving is down By Harry Kimball, Newser Staff Posted Mar 2, 2010 1:46 PM CST 28 comments Comments In this Jan. 22, 2010, photo, gas and diesel prices appear on signs outside a Marathon gas station at right and a Get-Go station at left in Bedford Hts. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta) (Newser) – Remember the good old days when gas was over $3? Well, get ready for some déjà vu. The average national price of a gallon climbed 4.7 cents last week alone, to $2.702, continuing a trend that saw it rise 76.8 cents over the past year, while crude oil prices nearly doubled. Now, thanks to the recent storms, it’s safe to assume they’ll be above $3 headed into the spring, argues Matthew Scott of Daily Finance. The price surge has come even though the economy is in tatters and Americans are driving less. “There is no legitimate fundamental reason for higher prices,” one analyst wrote, “but it is March 1st, so we have to expect to see them.” The prices are being driven, Scott explains, by speculators betting that the economy will improve. Another analyst adds that oil companies are also doing everything they can to keep prices high.