June 12, 2024


Memorial Day is almost here, which is usually when Americans start racking up the mileage due to vacations and other summertime travel. What will gas prices be when they start doing so?

Unless something really dramatic forces prices higher, consumers can probably expect to pay somewhere around $3.60 a gallon for regular-grade unleaded based on where prices observed by AAA have been trending. “Barring some unforeseen event, this pokey drop in pump prices is not likely to change anytime soon,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said last week.

Gas prices now are where they have been for about a month. They’re a little higher than where they were this time last year, when regular unleaded gas was $3.54 per gallon on average.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration, which observes a slightly lower national average, gas prices are about 20% higher than they were at the start of the year, when Americans typically don’t drive as much. They’ve begun dipping more recently, though.

Gas prices are influenced by oil prices. Despite some worries about geopolitical risk stemming from Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip, oil prices have remained pretty stable this year, hovering between $80 and $90 a barrel.

Not everyone should expect the same gas prices if they’re filling up ahead of a road trip in the near future, though. Gulf coast states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are paying about $3.20 or less for a gallon of regular unleaded. Western states like California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada, on the other hand, are each paying more than $3.50 a gallon. In California, home to the highest gas prices in country, the average price at the pump is $5.17 a gallon.

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