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06/29/2021

AAA: Independence Day Roadtrippers Will Encounter High Gas Prices

Pump prices are likely to increase leading up to the holiday weekend and then through the end of summer.
Increasing gas prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. The current national gas price average hit $3.09 per gallon as of June 28, marking the highest average of the year, and is still rising.

The national average will rise as much as 5 cents in the lead up to Independence Day as more than 47.7 million Americans prepare to hit the road for a holiday weekend getaway.

While it is typical for gas prices to increase ahead of a holiday, especially during the summer driving season, recent pump price increases have been noticeable, according to AAA.

"Today, 89 percent of U.S. gas stations are selling regular unleaded for $2.75 or more. That is a stark increase over last July 4 when only a quarter of stations were selling gas for more than $2.25," said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. "Road trippers will pay the most to fill up for the holiday since 2014."

Crude oil and gas prices in turn are more expensive now than in past years primarily due to three major factors: confidence in worldwide vaccine rollout, global oil demand spikes, and the easing of travel restrictions leading to optimism for leisure travel. Crude oil recently hit $74 per barrel, the highest price in nearly three years.

Drivers are not likely to experience relief post-holiday weekend, as rising crude oil prices are likely to push gas prices higher through the end of summer.

The current national average is 2 cents higher than one week ago, 5 cents higher than one month ago and 92 cents higher than one year ago.

The top 10 largest weekly price increases in the country occurred in Utah (12 cents), Indiana (11 cents), Oregon (9 cents), Washington (9 cents), New Mexico (8 cents), Alaska (8 cents), Wyoming (8 cents), Idaho (8 cents), Minnesota (7 cents) and Colorado (7 cents).

The top 10 least expensive markets are Mississippi ($2.73), Louisiana ($2.74), Texas ($2.77), Arkansas ($2.79), Alabama ($2.80), Oklahoma ($2.80), Missouri ($2.80), South Carolina ($2.81), Tennessee ($2.84) and Kentucky ($2.85).