AAA Fuel Gauge Report: Nation Divided on Gas Prices
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A split in average gasoline prices on a state level led to a deceptively small change in the national average this week. The current national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $3.63 per gallon. This is 1 cent more expensive than a week ago, 6 cents more expensive than a month ago and 9 cents more expensive than the same date one year ago, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
Despite the penny increase from last week, the United States has seen differing changes in gas prices from state to state. Prices fell in 25 states, with several states seeing drops of 8 cents per gallon or more: Oklahoma (8 cents), North Dakota (8 cents), Kansas (9 cents), Nebraska (10 cents) and Minnesota (12 cents). These states recently saw high price peaks, including all-time daily records in North Dakota and Minnesota near the end of May.
Drivers in the remaining 25 states and Washington, D.C., saw a jump in prices since last week, led by sharp increases in Ohio (9 cents), Wisconsin (11 cents), Michigan (12 cents), Illinois (16 cents) and Indiana (19 cents). These near-record prices are due to low supplies and transportation challenges for wholesale gasoline in the Chicago market, especially due to maintenance at the ExxonMobil refinery in Joliet, Ill., and the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind., according to the AAA report.
However, confirmation that the Joliet refinery is back online after more than two months should increase supplies and likely drive prices down in the days to come.
While prices may continue to increase during the next few days, AAA predicts lower prices nationally and in the Great Lakes region later in June, with the national average falling below $3.50 per gallon if refineries make an easy transition from ongoing maintenance to full production.