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Gas Prices: These States Saw the Biggest Drop at the Pump Before July 4th

What is going on

Gas prices have continued to fall since hitting a record high of $5.02 in mid-June

Why it matters

The price of gas is still $1.69 a gallon more than a year ago, and many motorists are feeling the pinch.

US gas prices have fallen further for the second week in a row. On Saturday, the national average for a gallon of unleaded was $4.82 according to AAA. That’s nearly 9 cents less than a week ago and 20 cents cheaper than the all-time high of $5.02 a gallon, reached in the week of June 13.

Part of that is due to a decline in demand: While total domestic gasoline inventories rose 2.6 trillion barrels to 221.6 trillion barrels, Americans use about 8.9 million barrels of gasoline per day, up from 9.11 million at the end of the year. June 2021.

That imbalance means motorists will likely continue to see relief at the pump, AAA said.

To move things forward, Sheetz cut the price of unleaded 88 to $3.99 a gallon through the end of July 4 at its more than 650 locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina. The mid-Atlantic supermarket chain also cuts the price of E85 gas to $3.49, though the high-ethanol blend isn’t compatible with all vehicles.

Here’s what you need to know about gas prices, including how high they can get, what the White House is doing to change that, and how you can save money if you fill up your tank.

Which States Have Seen the Biggest Drop in Gas Prices?

Between June 23 and June 30, AAA reported, the states with the largest drop in gas prices were Wisconsin (−14 cents), Delaware (−14 cents), Indiana (−13 cents), Florida (−13 cents), Ohio (−13 cents), Arizona (−12 cents), Texas (−12 cents), Michigan (−12 cents), South Carolina (−11 cents), and Maryland (−11 cents).

South Carolina actually has the second cheapest gas in the country after Georgia, averaging $4.36 per gallon for unleaded gasoline.

It is worth noting that none of these states their state gas tax paused during this period. Florida’s one-month fuel tax vacation, which will cut gas prices by 25.3 cents a gallon, won’t take effect until Oct. 1.

You can see the average price of gas in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the AAA Gas Price website

Why is gas so expensive?

Russia is underway invasion of Ukraine is an obvious factor. The price of gas is inextricably linked to the price of crude oil from which it is refined. Every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of crude oil adds nearly 25 cents to the price of a gallon of gas.

According to the White House, the war has increased gasoline prices by more than $1.70 a gallon.

Even though the US does not import much crude oil from Russia, oil is traded in a global market and any change affects prices around the world.

Gas prices on a sign at a station in the Los Angeles country, with a car and bus in the background

The average price of gasoline in California has reached $6.30 per gallon.

Zeng Hui/Getty Images

The price of crude oil could reach $150 a barrel by the fall, Foreign Policy reported. And according to new data from the Energy Information Administration, the total domestic supply of gasoline is falling: in the week of July 13, it fell 700,000 barrels to 217.5 trillion.

But the Russian invasion is not the only factor: Although demand is approaching pre-pandemic levels, producers are still hesitant to increase production. In April, OPEC failed to meet its target of 2.7 million barrels per day in production.

“We’ve had a supply-demand imbalance for a while,” Troy Vincent, a senior market analyst at energy analytics firm DTN, told CNET. “And it will remain whether or not this conflict disappears.”

President Joe Biden has also accused oil companies of making a profit from the crisis.

“Amid a war that has sent gasoline prices soaring more than $1.70 a gallon, historically high refinery profit margins are exacerbating that pain,” Biden wrote in a June 15 letter to the heads of Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell. , Phillips 66, BP and other companies. †

“I understand that many factors contributed to the business decisions to reduce refinery capacity that took place before I took office,” he added. “But in times of war, refinery profit margins that are way above normal and passed directly to American families are not acceptable.”

In addition, in the summer months, gasoline is reformulated to prevent excessive evaporation from higher temperatures outside. The more expensive summer blend of gasoline can add between 7 and 10 cents per gallon.

How high can gas prices go?

On the week of June 13, gasoline prices hit an average of $5.02 per gallon — a record dollar amount, but adjusted for inflation, still below the 2008 peak of $4.14, which would now be about $5.37. to be. Still, experts don’t believe we’ve seen the end of rising gas prices.

Analysts predict that prices at the pump will rise again. According to Ed Hirs, an economist at the University of Houston, the national average by Labor Day will likely be $6 a gallon.

Natasha Kaneva, JPMorgan’s chief of raw materials research, is even more pessimistic: In a May report, Kaneva said the price could climb to $6.20 a gallon as early as August, Insider reported.

gas prices

Analysts predict US gas could exceed $6 a gallon by the fall.

Getty Images

What is the government doing to lower gas prices?

In June, President Biden approved a three-month nationwide gas tax vacation. Individual, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Florida and Georgia have already suspended state gas taxesand at least 20 other states are considering similar steps.

In the June 15 letter, Biden called on oil companies to work with his administration to address any production cuts and “problems with inventories, prices and refining capacity.”

He previously criticized them for sitting on more than 12 million acres of federal land cleared for drilling and 9,000 production permits. The government has indicated that it wants oil companies to pay fines for leaving leases unused.

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency approved year-round sales of E15 gasoline, a cheaper fuel with a higher ethanol content. The impact will be modest, as only about 2,500 of the more than 100,000 gas stations across the country sell the blend.

In March, the White House began releasing a million barrels of oil per day from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The unprecedented pullout, expected to last six months, could cut gasoline prices by 10 to 35 cents a gallon.

“It will lower the price of oil a little bit and encourage more demand. But it’s still a band-aid on a significant supply shortage,” Scott Sheffield, chief executive of Texas oil company Pioneer Natural Resources, told The New York Times.

The US is also looking at getting energy products from other sources: the Biden administration has improved diplomatic relations with Venezuela, which has been banned from selling oil to the US since 2018, and is negotiating another nuclear non-proliferation treaty with Iran, which Iranian oil back on the market.

How can drivers save at the pump?

Drivers can make fewer non-essential trips and shop around for the best price, even crossing state lines when convenient.

Apps like Master Gas scan for the best gas prices in your area. Others, like FuelLog, track your car’s gas mileage and can help determine if it’s getting decent fuel economy. In addition, many gas station chains have loyalty programs, and credit cards have rewards programs who give money back for gas purchases.

Vincent of DTN advises against hoarding gas or other extreme measures, but encourages more budget for gas. High energy prices have been a major contributor to inflation for some time, he said, and won’t go away anytime soon.

“When the price of crude oil rises, prices at the pump tend to reflect this very quickly,” he said. “But gas prices will hang around longer, even if crude oil falls.”

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