Gas Prices Start To Rise

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Retail gas prices are rising in most states including Oregon as demand grows and stocks decrease. Some states are seeing double-digit increases while the West Coast states are seeing much smaller gains or steady prices. For the week, the national average for regular jumps seven cents to $1.85 a gallon. The Oregon average ticks up half a cent to $2.38.

“As most states re-open some businesses and ease stay-at-home restrictions that were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, demand for gasoline is on the rise and that’s sending pump some pump prices higher. Drivers in the Great Lakes, Central, South and Southeast are seeing the most volatility,” says Marie Dodds, public affairs director for AAA Oregon/Idaho.

Demand for gasoline in the U.S. is rising but still well below last year’s levels. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), demand for gasoline increased by 800,000 b/d to 6.7 million b/d last week which is 3.2 million b/d less than last year at this time. Gas demand is expected to continue to grow, leading pump prices to continue their increase.

Oregon is one of 44 states and the District of Columbia with higher prices compared to one week ago. Several Great Lakes and Central states saw double-digit increases. This region routinely sees pump price fluctuation, so it is no surprise to see significant increases there as many states begin to re-open. Michigan (+29 cents) and Ohio (+27 cents) have the largest weekly increases. Wyoming (-2 cents) has the largest weekly decline.

Hawaii ($3.17) remains the only state in the nation with an average at or above $3 a gallon.

The cheapest gas in the nation can be found in Oklahoma ($1.50) and Arkansas ($1.50). This is the ninth week in a row that one or more states has an average below $2 a gallon. In all, 39 states are below that benchmark, down from 41 a week ago.

Oregon is one of 40 states with lower prices now than a month ago. The national average is one cent less and the Oregon average is 17 cents less than a month ago. This is the fifth-largest monthly decline in the nation. Utah (-23 cents) has the largest month-over-month decline while Tennessee (-2 cents) has the smallest. Wisconsin (+41 cents) and Ohio (+39 cents) have the biggest month-over-month increases.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have lower prices now than a year ago. The national average is $1.01 less and the Oregon average is $1.05 less than a year ago. Alaska (-$1.40) has the largest year-over-year drop. Hawaii (-47 cents) has the smallest. In all, 22 states have pump price averages that are $1/gallon or more cheaper than a year ago, with another 23 states within a dime of reaching this mark.

Source: AAA

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