Summer Demand Drives Gas Prices Higher

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline reached $2.35 on Aug. 7, which is 3 cents more than last week, 9 cents more than one month ago, and 23 cents more than at the same time last year, according to the AAA Newsroom.

At the same time, the latest Energy Information Administration report shows that gasoline demand reached a new weekly record of 9.842 million barrels per day, and the 2017 demand average over the past four weeks is about 1 percent ahead of the same time period last year. With summer demand remaining strong, drivers can expect see prices continue to rise.

The current top 10 least expensive markets in the United States are South Carolina ($2.09), Mississippi ($2.09), Alabama ($2.10), Arkansas ($2.11), Oklahoma ($2.13), Tennessee ($2.14), Virginia ($2.15), Louisiana ($2.16), Missouri ($2.17) and Texas ($2.17).

On the West Coast, Hawaii remains the nation's most expensive market for retail gasoline at $3.06 per gallon. Drivers in the state are paying 10 cents more per gallon than second-place California ($2.96.) Nearby Washington state ($2.82), Alaska ($2.80), Oregon ($2.68) and Nevada ($2.63) fill out the top six most expensive markets.

In the Rockies, increased driving demand pushed prices higher across most of the region. With a 6-cent increase, Wyoming landed in the top 15 weekly price increases in the U.S., while Idaho (5 cents), Colorado (5 cents), Montana (4 cents) and Utah (4 cents) also saw sizable increases.

Drivers in the Great Lakes region were some of the only ones in the country to see pump prices fall, with Indiana (8 cents), Michigan (7 cents) and Ohio (7 cents) all seeing declines.

The South and Southeast continue to have the nation's least expensive markets for retail gasoline.

Gas prices rose in the Mid-Atlantic and northeast, with Washington, D.C. ($2.55), Pennsylvania ($2.52), Connecticut ($2.46), New York ($2.45) and New Jersey ($2.37) placing in the top 15 list of most expensive markets. In addition, North Carolina ($2.16) placed on the list of top 15 least expensive markets.