Gas prices hit the accelerator again this week with another sharp gain, putting it at its highest level since 2014.
AAA’s daily gas price report shows that the national average price of regular gas is $3.30 a gallon, four cents more than last Friday and 13 cents more than a month ago. The average price of premium gas is $3.91 a gallon, up six cents a gallon from last week. The average price of diesel fuel is $3.51 a gallon, eight cents a gallon higher than a week ago.
Prices are climbing even though motorists appear to be driving less. Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, reported on Twitter that U.S. gasoline demand fell 3.5% in September compared to August.
However, supplies remain tight because refineries are producing less gasoline. DeHaan says refinery utilization is down in several parts of the country.
That may be responsible for sharp price increases in several states where prices had been among the lowest in the country. In Alabama, the statewide average price of regular gained 11 cents a gallon this week. The average price is up nine cents a gallon in Louisiana and South Carolina.
AAA Spokesperson Andrew Gross says drivers may face more pain at the pump in the coming weeks as oil continues to get more expensive.
“The key driver for this recent rise in the price of gas is crude oil, which typically accounts for between 50% and 60% of the price at the pump,” Gross said. “And last week’s decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies to not increase production further only exacerbated the upward momentum for crude oil prices.”
States with the most expensive gas
These states currently have the highest prices for regular gas, according to AAA:
States with the cheapest gas
AAA reports these states currently have the lowest prices for regular gas:
South Carolina ($3.06)