Spring gas price sticker shock: AAA
Drivers in the Mid-Atlantic region and across the country are paying more at the pump as a result of the annual switch-over to summer grade fuel, strong demand for gasoline and a sharp rise in oil and gas prices. Motorists in Virginia are paying between two and six cents more for gas in comparison to last week. AAA anticipates gas price averages could potentially increase another five to 10 cents ahead of the summer driving season.
Today’s national gas price average is $2.76, which is up 5 cents in the last week, up 18 cents in the last month and 34 cents higher than this time last year.
At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil settled at $68.40 per barrel, up $1.01 from the previous week. The price of crude oil rose above $68 a barrel on Wednesday for the first time since 2015, fueled by strong demand for petroleum products, a steady drop in global crude stockpiles and escalating conflicts in the Middle East.
“Virginia’s state average has surpassed last year’s high price following Hurricane Harvey,” said Tammy Arnette, senior public affairs specialist for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA believes local prices will continue to climb based on higher crude oil prices, diminishing oil supplies, and the seasonal switchover to the summer gasoline blend.”
AAA anticipates gas price averages could increase another five to 10 cents in the coming weeks. Many states will soon top 2017 high prices and the $3.00 per gallon mark could become a reality for some. AAA forecast that two-thirds of the 88 million families taking vacation this summer plan to drive to their destination. With more expensive gas prices on the horizon, travelers should plan now for the additional costs.
AAA has a variety of resources to help motorists save on fuel:
- Fuel Price Finder (http://www.AAA.com/
fuelfinder) locates the lowest fuel price in your area.
- AAA Gas Cost Calculator (http://gasprices.
aaa.com/aaa-gas-cost- calculator/) helps budget travel expenses.
- TripTik Mobile (http://www.aaa.com/
mobile) plots fuel prices along your travel route.
- AAA’s Member Rewards Visa® Credit Card (http://www.AAA.com/
financial/AAAvisa.htm) accumulates double points on fuel purchases.