Where gas prices are falling — and where they're rising
A gallon of gas cost $3.79 on average nationwide as of Aug. 9, per GasBuddy.
- That's up a bit from the winter months — as expected based on historical patterns — but lower than last year's highs of nearly $5.
Yes, but: Gas prices ticked up in recent weeks due to excessive heat in Gulf states like Texas and Louisiana, where many of the country's oil refineries are located.
- "Refineries, which turn crude oil into products like gasoline, don't function as efficiently in 100+ degree weather," Axios' Emily Peck reports.
Why it matters: America is a nation of car travelers, with the average person driving nearly 13,500 miles per year.
- Thus, higher gas prices take a bigger toll on our wallets — and contribute to overall inflation.
- Gas prices can also influence how quickly people convert to low- or zero-emissions cars — a major Biden administration policy goal.
- Still, how much you'll actually save by going electric can vary significantly based on your local gas and electricity rates, among other factors.
Zoom in: Compared to August 2022, gas prices have come down most significantly in Idaho (-14.4%), Nevada (-12.1%) and Massachusetts (-11.0%).
- They've gone up most significantly in Iowa (+6.1%), Florida (+5.7%) and Georgia (+5.7%).
Be smart: Several factors can drive state-by-state variations in gas prices, including a state's taxes and its proximity to refineries.
- But state-level gas prices tend to follow the same broader trendlines, with occasional variations.
- As you can see in the map above, gas prices are generally falling or flat compared to August 2022.
What's next: All eyes are on hurricane season, as severe storms can further disrupt refineries — thus reducing supply and raising prices.
- Saudi Arabia's continued oil production cut also stands to increase energy prices.
The bottom line: "The pace of increases has started to slow down over the last few days, and for now, appears to have hit a peak over the weekend and is beginning to gently fall," Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a recent statement.
- But "the respite from gasoline rising may not last long."