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July 4 gas prices at highest level since 2008

A year ago, the average price for a gallon of gas was $3.45 a gallon, 25 cents lower than the price Monday.

Dina Rudick/Globe staff

A year ago, the average price for a gallon of gas was $3.45 a gallon, 25 cents lower than the price Monday.

Gas prices heading into the July 4 holiday weekend are at their highest levels since 2008, when they topped $4 a gallon.

AAA Southern New England reported Monday that the average price for gas in Massachusetts was $3.70 a gallon, 6 cents higher than a month ago, because of “unrest in Iraq.” A year ago, the average price for a gallon of gas was $3.45 a gallon, 25 cents lower than the price Monday.

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In 2008, strong demand from the growing economies of China and other emerging economies pushed global oil prices to almost $150 a barrel.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for GasBuddy.com, said US oil production is higher than it has been since October 1986, and the US market is not nearly as dependent on Middle Eastern oil as it used to be. However, the potential loss of some or all of the 2.6 million barrels per day produced by Iraq “may keep prices higher than they might be under more peaceful circumstances.”

Bennie DiNardo can be reached at bennie.dinardo@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bdinardo.
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