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Gas prices are rising faster as demand increases

Consumers are driving more as stay-at-home orders are lifted

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Photo (c) VicZik - Getty Images
​For 66 days during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, consumers enjoyed gasoline prices that averaged below $2 a gallon. Now that people are out and about, prices have zoomed past $2 and are quickly moving higher.

The AAA Fuel Gauge Survey shows the national average price of regular gas is $2.09 a gallon, nine cents higher than last Friday but still 64 cents a gallon less than last June. The average price of premium gas is $2.69, also nine cents higher than last week. The national average price of diesel fuel is $2.42 a gallon, just two cents higher than a week ago.

“The beginning of June has not seen gas prices this low since 2004,” said Jeanette Casselano, a AAA spokesperson. “As crude oil prices trend higher and gasoline demand increases, Americans will see gas prices push more expensive, but this summer will be cheaper than last.”

Gasoline demand continues to show increasing strength, but it is still well below normal June levels, when vacation season would normally get underway. Consumers have already shown a willingness to travel in spite of COVID-19, but travel is not likely to approach the volume of a typical summer.

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report shows gasoline demand in the previous week increased by 4 percent to 7.5 million barrels a day.  That’s the highest level since states began issuing stay-at-home orders in mid-March.

Most states saw their gasoline prices rise during the last week, some more than others. Mississippi still has the cheapest gas in the nation, but its statewide average price increased more than 10 cents a gallon in the last seven days.

The states with the most expensive gas

These states currently have the highest prices for regular gas, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Survey:

  • Hawaii ($3.20)

  • California ($2.97)

  • Washington ($2.62)

  • Oregon ($2.53) 

  • Nevada ($2.52)

  • Alaska ($2.38)

  •  Pennsylvania ($2.31)

  • Illinois ($2.30)

  • Idaho ($2.29)

  • Utah ($2.28)

The states with the cheapest regular gas

The survey found these states currently have the lowest prices for regular gas:

  • Mississippi ($1.71)

  • Louisiana ($1.74)

  • Arkansas ($1.78)

  • Alabama ($1.78)

  • Texas ($1.79)

  • Oklahoma ($1.80)

  • Missouri ($1.83)

  • South Carolina ($1.83)

  • Virginia ($1.85)

  • Georgia ($1.85)

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