(WASHINGTON) -- The pain at the pump for American drivers continues.
The Department of Energy is likely to announce on Monday that over the past week gas prices have climbed by about 12 cents a gallon. This latest increase would push the nationwide average closer towards $4 a gallon and comes well ahead of the peak driving season -- beginning in mid-May -- when prices are expected to go even higher.
This month alone, the cost of crude oil has jumped from $96 to $109 a barrel.
President Obama has been facing pressure from some Democrats to consider releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. However, energy analysts say that while this move might bring down gas prices for several weeks, it will have little impact on what happens during the summer and fall.
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