A month ago, a gallon of regular gasoline cost an average of $3.30. Now it's $3.75 nationwide — and well over $4 in California. In the winter, gas prices generally go down. But for the past 34 days, the AAA Auto Club reports they've been going up -- faster than at any time since 2005. What's the answer, and why is the oil industry suggesting we ought to pay more? Chris Nelder is an independent energy analyst and columnist for SmartPlanet.com.