Drivers can expect to pay a lot more for gas this holiday weekend but are unlikely to face shortages.
The average price per gallon remains slightly above $3, ranging from as low as $2.72 in states like Kansas, Missouri, the South and upper Midwest to $4.17 in western states, Hawaii, Washington and Illinois. That’s according to data from AAA. Although the average is 17 cents higher than last month and $1.12 more expensive than last year, the group sees the price stabilizing.
Gas prices have been one of the biggest public complaints about the Biden administration that according to critics has weakened America’s self-sufficiency in energy. According to the Federal Department of Engergy, under President Donald Trump the nation became independent of reliance on any foreign energy producers – including the Middle East.
“We’re expecting the national average to continue stabilizing; we’ve seen that over the past seven to eight days or so, and we expect that trend to continue,” Devin Gladden, AAA National’s manager for federal affairs stated. “However, given the number of travelers that are expected to hit the rolls for Memorial Day weekend, some states could see fluctuation in their averages, through the weekend, particularly in areas where there is just high demand because of tourists.”
The national average is trending down slightly, just off its high of $3.04 a gallon.
What you can expect in gas prices this weekend:
|Week Ago Avg.||$3.043||$3.378||$3.649||$3.175||$2.551|
|Month Ago Avg.||$2.885||$3.221||$3.492||$3.079||$2.453|
|Year Ago Avg.||$1.964||$2.311||$2.578||$2.413||$1.838|
“I would expect that limited downside to continue,” said Patrick De Haan, an analyst with GasBuddy. “Probably not a whole lot in terms of motorists aren’t going to realize a nice drop as they would want to, but ahead of Memorial Day, I think the most important thing is that we aren’t trending higher, we are trending lower.”
The cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline earlier this month led to the company taking its major southeast pipeline offline, which in turn contributed to rising prices and gas stations running out of fuel.
People traveling over Memorial Day weekend should plan ahead, calling stations to make sure they have gas if they live in western or eastern states. They can also use apps that track gas availability, AAA recommends. One common-sense measure is filling up before arriving at a tourism hotspot, where fuel may be scarce or even more expensive.
Looking forward, Americans should expect gas prices to stay around the current level through the summer because of the increased demand and heightened oil prices, among other factors.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice