SC gas prices climbing to $3 a gallon

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gas prices could climb past $3 a gallon in South Carolina after the New Year.

The State newspaper of Columbia reports Thursday that colder winter weather, the weaker U.S$., and increased foreign demand are all contributing to the rising cost of gasoline.

The national average has already topped $3 a gallon.

AAA Carolinas reports the average cost of gas statewide is $2.90. That's 23 cents higher than a month ago and 44 cents higher than a year ago. AAA spokesman Tom Crosby says South Carolina drivers will be paying $3 per gallon when the national average hits $3.25 a gallon.

South Carolina's gas taxes are the nation's fourth-lowest. The state gas tax of 16.75 cents per gallon hasn't changed since 1987.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.