After a volatile week in energy markets last week, one would swear gasoline prices would be all over the map- and indeed they are. Gasoline prices rose the most in Alaska last week, climbing an average of 13c/gal. In Missouri, average prices rose nearly 6 cents per gallon, followed by Georgia rising 5.8c/gal, Louisiana rising 5.5c/gal, and Ohio, rising 4.6c/gal.

Average gasoline prices fell in Nevada the most- dropping 2.9c/gal, followed by Vermont, who also saw prices fall 2.9c/gal, Idaho coming in third, falling 2.3c/gal, and the Dakotas, both falling a few cents per gallon.

Over the last week, the national average has barely moved, as is the case in California, where gasoline prices rose sharply the week before last as supply fell due to scattered refinery problems.

To begin this week, gasoline futures have fallen, and thus, it is highly likely that later today, wholesale gasoline futures will fall. Since wholesale prices rose 10+c/gal last week Wednesday, they have slowly begun to drift downward. We continue to see European jitters tug at investors, which is also keeping oil prices in check.

By next Monday, I anticipate the national average falling 1-4 cents per gallon. I expect prices to hold steady in California, Oregon, Washington, while rising in the upper plain states, such as the Dakotas and perhaps Montana and Wyoming. Prices in the South will likely slowly fall, and the East Coast into New England may see a very slight increase. The EPA's gasoline emissions laws are relaxed September 15, and that may help usher prices down in larger cities.