According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, the price for a gallon of gasoline nationwide hit $3.013. California once again has the highest gas prices in the Lower 48 states, hovering at about $3.27 a gallon. In total, 26 states plus the District of Columbia have gas prices exceeding $3 a gallon, while Colorado has the lowest average gas prices, about $2.75 a gallon. The rise in gas prices coincides with a rise in crude prices, which recently topped $90 a barrel…another high not seen since October, 2008.
As I remember it, gas prices used to go down in the winter, not up. While these prices are still more than a dollar off the 2008 peak average gas price of over $4.11 a gallon, prices are up 4% from a month ago, and 16% from the same time last year when the average price of a gallon of gas was $2.58. The chart above shows gas prices gradually climbing back to where they were two years ago, a scary prospect at a time when our economy feels like it is finally gaining traction again.
At a 4% per month price increase, we’ll be paying $3.62 a gallon by mid-summer, if not more. This will be the first Christmas on record where gas exceeds $3.00 a gallon, though that won’t stop 85.7 million people AAA projects will be making their holiday journeys via automobile. At least they’ll be in good company grumbling about gas prices.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from fossil fuels!
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.