The traditional drop in gasoline prices did not materialize this year and that has spurred energy experts to predict that we will see $4 gas in 2008. The Energy Department's weekly survey of service stations Monday found the average pump price was $2.980 nationally and $3.261 in California...about 2 cents lower than a week ago but much higher than the same period last year..at the same period in 2006 it was $2.341 across the U.S. and $2.607 in California. Normally, prices will drop about 17% at this time of the year, but this year it did the reverse...up 17%. One reason is demand...despite the high prices people are using about .5% more than at this time a year ago... Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service said Americans would burn about 2.5 million more gallons of gasoline this week than they did during the same week in 2006. But, the main reason for the prices is the high cost of crude oil...yesterday crude closed at $95.97 a barrel. Gas prices surge in the spring time and the experts say that will mean record prices, including $4 a gallon in 2008..The Los Angeles Times has a further in depth story this morning..click here..