While gas prices have been rising throughout the year, especially with the economy improving and Americans doing more travel during the summer, they have finally begun to tick back downward, as of last week. However, those prices remain high in many regions of the country.
According to a GasBuddy report last week, the average gas price dropped to $3.14 per gallon, a drop of 2.9 cents per gallon from the week before. However, the average price was still 4.7 cents higher than it had been a month earlier, and 97.2 cents higher than the same time the year before.
The median gas price was $2.99 per gallon, with $2.99 also the most common price at U.S. pumps, followed by $2.89, $3.09 and $2.79.
“With oil prices struggling under the weight of a rise in new Covid cases thanks to the Delta variant and OPEC’s increase in oil production, average gas prices in most states finally drifted lower,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in the blog post the last week of July.
“However, we aren’t yet in the clear – U.S. gasoline demand last week surged to a new 2021 high, besting the week prior to the July 4 holiday. This shows that motorists aren’t slowing their appetite for hitting the road just yet, and that could further boost prices should demand remain hot. For now, motorists should enjoy the perhaps brief respite at the pump and buckle up for what might be a bumpy finish to summer.”
Gas prices remain higher than usual in some parts of the country. The average in California, per GasBuddy, was $4.32 a gallon, while Hawaii was $4 and Nevada $3.92. Also, according to Idaho Press, gas prices in the state of Idaho have also been surging, to close to the $4 a gallon mark. CBS Philadelphia, citing data from AAA Mid-Atlantic, also reported last week that gas prices have been ticking up in the state of New Jersey.
Gas prices dropped to nearly historic laws in the spring and summer of 2020, as the pandemic and stay-at-home orders caused demand to crash and prices along with them. This year, however, they have begun to rise as demand has, with the average price of gas rising over $3 for the first time in seven years back in May.
Back in July, OPEC reached an agreement to “raise oil production by 400,000 bpd each month until 2022,” GasBuddy said at the time.
Rising gas prices have also often come up throughout the year in discussions about rising inflation in the U.S. economy.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.