Gas Prices Continue to Rise Nationally as Oil Prices Surge
Oftentimes, when the autumn season starts, motorists may notice that gasoline prices fall along with the leaves and temperatures. Unfortunately, this year seems to be bucking that trend. Instead, despite the summer road trip season ending, gas prices continue to inch upwards.
According to data from the app GasBuddy (which includes price reports from more than 150,000 stations), the national average for gas rose to $3.25 per gallon this week. That marks a 5.2 cent increase from the week prior and is up 7.5 cents from one month ago. What’s more, the average price is $1.08 higher than it was this time last year. Meanwhile, the national average for diesel also rose this week, climbing 10.4 cents to $3.45 a gallon.
Although the average cost per gallon nationwide may be well over $3, there are still places where motorists may find prices under that threshold. In fact, the states with the lowest average prices were Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Texas. The Sooner State’s average price per gallon came in at $2.80 per gallon, followed by the Magnolia and Lone State States tied at $2.89.
On the other hand, those in Nevada, Hawaii, and California have the highest average prices in the country. While a gallon goes for $3.87 on average in the Silver State, the Aloha and Golden State prices topped $4, coming in at $4.09 and $4.41 respectively. However, in some small but good news for residents in pricey gas states, the average cost per gallon at the most expensive 10% of stations fell slightly (2 cents) to $4.20. Meanwhile, the average among the cheapest 10% of stations reached $2.77 — up 6 cents.
The climbing prices at the pump can be directly linked to the rising price of oil. As head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy Patrick De Haan explains, “Last week saw oil prices advance to their highest in seven years, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil surpassing the critical $80 per barrel level. The nation’s gas prices were also pushed to their highest since 2014, all on OPEC’s decision not to raise production more than it already agreed to in July.” De Haan went on to add, “The OPEC decision caused an immediate reaction in oil prices, and amidst what is turning into a global energy crunch, motorists are now spending over $400 million more on gasoline every single day than they were just a year ago.” Notably, the prices also reflect surging demand as economies around the globe work toward recovery. Here at home, that could mean even higher costs, with De Haan pointing out, “If Americans can’t slow their appetite for fuels, we’ve got no place for prices to go but up.”
Since the rising gas prices can be frustrating and financially constraining for consumers, the Biden administration is reportedly working on relief. According to Politico, the White House has been consulting with the oil industry in hopes of finding a solution. Of course, since it remains to be seen whether these talks will yield results or whether other factors can help drive prices down, consumers may need to keep their gasoline consumption in check as much as possible until prices can make a U-turn.