Regular-grade gasoline prices are projected to average $1.95/gal. in 2009 and $2.19 in 2010, predicts the U.S. Energy Information Administration (USEIA). Meanwhile, on-highway diesel fuel retail prices, which averaged $3.79/gal. in 2008, are projected to average $2.28 in 2009 and $2.55 in 2010.

Over the past 6 months, the monthly average price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fell from $133/barrel in July to $41 in December and January. WTI prices are projected to average $43/barrel in 2009 and $55 in 2010. For the full USEIA “Short-Term Energy Outlook,” go to: www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/steo/pub/contents.html.

For the week ending Feb. 9, the national average price for regular gasoline jumped 3.4¢ to $1.926/gal.; that’s a 31.3¢ increase over the past six weeks, but $1.034 below the year-ago price and $2.188 off the July 7, 2008 all-time high. Diesel fell for the fourth consecutive week, shedding 2.7¢ to an average of $2.219/gal. That’s $1.061 below a year ago and $2.545 below the July 14, 2008 all-time high.

Regarding gasoline, only the Midwest was down for the week, shedding a paltry 0.6¢ to $1.864. Otherwise, the East Coast added 3.6¢ to $1.912, the Gulf Coast 3.5¢ to $1.837, the Rocky Mountains 6.8¢ to $1.78, and the West Coast 9.3¢ to $2.175. California rose 10.2¢ to $2.215/gal., 89.3¢ under a year ago.

All regions were down for diesel. The East Coast slipped 2.9¢ to $2.296, the Midwest 2.8¢ to 2.173, the Gulf Coast 3.3¢ to $2.156, the Rocky Mountains 1.8¢ to $2.211, and the West Coast 1.1¢ to $2.292. California shed 1.9¢ to $2.269.