The average price at the pump for a gallon of diesel fuel dropped 2.3 cents to $1.478 this week, the first dip in the price in four weeks. The price had risen 10 cents to $1.501 from 1.401 between December 16 and January 6.
Drivers in New England saw the price rise 2.8 cents to $1.593 in the past week. It was the only one of nine regions that saw a price increase.
OPEC agreed Sunday to a production increase of 1.5-million barrels a day, but the U.S. government said that may not be enough to lower the cost.
According to the Dept. of Energy's Energy Information Administration, the oil market is vulnerable to a number of forces that could cause substantial price volatility over the coming months, including the situation in Venezuela, increased tensions in the Middle East, and low oil inventories.
American Trucking Assns. president William Canary wrote President George W. Bush in hopes he will help keep fuel prices under control. Canary said Bush should consider tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
"Trucking needs the economy to move into a higher gear as much as the economy needs a healthy trucking industry to keep it moving," wrote Canary. "To stay healthy, we need to make sure that there is enough diesel fuel available at a reasonable price."