National Gas Price Average Hits All-Time High

Man at Fuel Pump
Man at fuel pump. | Image by Shutterstock

National gas prices hit an all-time high on Tuesday, with the average cost for a gallon of gas reaching $5.02, rounded up from $5.016, according to AAA.

The national average for a gallon of regular fuel was seven cents higher than prices a week before, 54 cents more than last month, and $1.97 more than a year ago.

Wednesday, the national average dipped just slightly to $5.014, rounded down to $5.01.

AAA reported that Georgia had the cheapest gas price per gallon on Wednesday, averaging $4.50 in the state. California saw the highest price at $6.44, $1.43 more per gallon higher than the national average.

The Texas average on Wednesday came in under the national average at $4.70. AAA recorded Wednesday’s Texas average as the highest recorded gas price in the state since AAA began collecting data in 2000.

Last week, an average gallon of regular gasoline in Texas cost $4.62, compared to $2.76 a year ago.

According to the AAA data, the average price in the state on Wednesday was $5.03 for a gallon of mid-grade gas and $5.34 for premium. Diesel costs averaged $5.27 per gallon.

In the Dallas area, the average price of regular gasoline per gallon was higher than the state average at $4.83 but still less than the national average.

According to AAA’s data, the highest price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the Dallas area was $4.83 on Wednesday. A year ago, regular gas in Dallas averaged $2.79 per gallon.

The average price in the Dallas area for mid-grade gas on Wednesday was $5.12 a gallon and $5.43 for premium, while diesel averaged $5.33.

As the travel season ramps up for most across the country, AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said there has not been evidence yet that drivers have slowed down in purchasing gas, but these all-time high prices could trigger a change.

“If prices stay at or above $5, we may see people start to change their daily driving habits or lifestyle, but it hasn’t happened yet,” said Gross.

In less than a week, as The Dallas Express reported, the price of a barrel of oil tipped over $120, nearly double last August’s price. Increased demand for oil has outpaced the global supply, resulting in rising prices for consumers, according to a release from AAA.

“Coupled with increasing crude oil prices, this means that the price of gas will likely remain elevated for the near future,” the release stated.

In an effort to lower gasoline prices by as much as 35 cents a gallon, President Joe Biden announced in March that the administration would release a million barrels of oil daily from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve through September.

While the move could lower prices somewhat, some experts in the field remain skeptical that the plan will ease any pain at the pump.

Scott Sheffield, chief executive officer of Texas oil company Pioneer Natural Resources, told The New York Times that “it is still a Band-Aid on a significant shortfall of supply.”

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