Mar 2, 2023 - News

Gas is slowly getting cheaper in Detroit

Data: GasBuddy; Note: Price as of the 1st of each month; Chart: Axios Visuals

Local gas costs have shown a decline over the last year, mirroring national trends.

By the numbers: Detroit drivers spent an average of $3.36 for every gallon of gas in February, according to GasBuddy data. That's steady from January and down 5% year over year.

  • Nationally, gas cost about $3.40/gallon in February — down 6% year over year, but up 2% from January.

Yes, but: Lower prices may disincentivize drivers from switching to more efficient cars, going electric, or embracing public transit — all of which can have big environmental benefits.

Why it matters: More than three-quarters of American commuters drive to and from work, meaning they're particularly sensitive to the ebbs and flows of prices at the pump — especially as other basic goods also get more expensive.

Between the lines: Crude oil prices have fallen over the past year, leading to cheaper automotive gas.

  • A barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude — a common industry benchmark — cost about $76 in late February, down from about $122 in June 2022.
  • Oil prices spiked last year amid uncertainty over Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the economic sanctions against the major oil producer that followed.
  • While the fighting drags on, oil markets have largely stabilized, CNN reports.

Zoom out: San Francisco has among the country's highest average gas prices, at $4.76 per gallon in February.

  • Houston drivers are enjoying some of the cheapest prices nationwide, at just $2.93/gallon.

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