Gas Prices Dip as Holiday Travelers Hit the Road
NATIONAL REPORT — After holding steady for nine days, the national gas price average is slowly declining at the start of the Thanksgiving week.
At $2.54, today's national gas price average is 2 cents less than one week ago and 40 cents more than a year ago, reported AAA Newsroom.
However, the more expensive year-over-year pump price is not stopping Americans from hitting the road for holiday travel.
"Nearly 46 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles away from their home by car this holiday. Many will be thankful to see gas prices trending cheaper in cities across the country," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. "Since 2014, the national gas price average has dropped 1 to 5 cents heading into the Thanksgiving week."
Drivers can find gas for $2.50 or less at 55 percent of gas stations in the country. The nation's top 10 states with the least expensive gas prices are: Alabama ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), South Carolina ($2.27), Texas ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.31), Virginia ($2.31), Tennessee ($2.31), Louisiana ($2.33), and Missouri ($2.35).
On the other hand, the nation's top 10 states with the largest yearly increases include: Alaska (63 cents), Illinois (59 cents), Indiana (58 cents), Minnesota (55 cents), Wisconsin (54 cents), California (52 cents), Michigan (51 cents), Kansas (49 cents), Iowa (47 cents), and Colorado (47 cents).
The West Coast continues to sell the most expensive gas alongside Alaska at $3.27 — an increase of 6 cents — leading the region and topping all states' gas prices, AAA reported. Hawaii ($3.23) and Arizona ($2.40) saw a slight increase, albeit 1 cent on the week. California ($3.21) is down 3 cents on the week and Nevada ($2.73) is down 1 cent. Oregon ($2.85) and Washington ($3.00) saw no change on the week.
Gas prices in the Great Lakes and Central region are volatile, as they continue to increase, stabilize, and then decrease. With a double-digit decrease, Michigan has the country and the region's largest decline at 12 cents. Also making the national spotlight for the region, Illinois ($2.70) lands on this week’s top 10 states with the most expensive gas in the country.
Compared to one year ago, five states in the region are paying 50 cents more for a gallon of gasoline: Illinois (59 cents), Indiana (58 cents), Minnesota (55 cents), Wisconsin (54 cents), and Michigan (51 cents). Heavy refinery maintenance this fall is one the factors that has contributed to the year-over-year hefty price increase, according to AAA.
Three months following Hurricane Harvey, gas prices in the South and Southeast are again among the cheapest in the country with seven states landing on this week's top 10 states with the least expensive gas for a consecutive week: Alabama ($2.25), Mississippi ($2.26), South Carolina ($2.27), Texas ($2.28), Arkansas ($2.29), Oklahoma ($2.31), and Louisiana ($2.33).
Despite the cheap prices, two states landed on this week's top 10 states with the largest changes this week. Louisiana saw a 3-cent jump, while Florida saw prices decrease 4 cents.
Gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region either are seeing no change or small declines at the pump on the week with Delaware seeing the largest decrease at 3 cents. Pennsylvania ($2.78), Washington, D.C. ($2.73), Connecticut ($2.71), New York ($2.69), and Rhode Island ($2.61) carry the most expensive gas in the region.
At $2.31, Virginia touts the cheapest of all Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states.
Compared to Thanksgiving week in 2016, motorists in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states are paying more at the pump, anywhere from 21 to 41 cents more. Pennsylvania pump prices have seen the biggest change year-over-year.
In the Rockies, Montana lands on this week's top 10 states with the largest change on the week with a 3-cent increase. Prices remained stable in Idaho ($2.65), Colorado ($2.55), and Wyoming ($2.53). While motorists throughout this region are paying more compared to Thanksgiving week 2016, Colorado motorists are seeing the largest year-over-year change in the region at 47 cents, while Utah is seeing the smallest year-over-year change in both the region and the country at 16 cents.