Retail pump prices hit 26-month high

Americans are getting a sour holiday surprise at the gas pump, where prices are the highest they've been in over two years. They may even hit a national average of $3 a gallon by January.

Although supplies remain plentiful and gasoline demand has diminished since September, retail gas prices are rising because oil prices are at the highest levels since October 2008. The two-week advance continued on Monday as benchmark oil for January delivery rose 19 cents to settle at $88.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A stronger dollar kept prices in check for most of the session. Since oil and other commodities are priced in dollars, a stronger dollar makes them more expensive for buyers who use other currencies.

Gas prices in San Francisco have risen 6.2 cents per gallon in the past week, according to Gasbuddy.com.

The average price of gas in San Francisco is $3.29 per gallon, 80 cents higher than the national average of $2.49 per gallon, which has also seen an increase of 8.4 cents per gallon in the past week.

Gas prices in San Francisco are 33.6 cents higher than the same day a year ago and 9.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.

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