Aug 14, 2023 - Business

Gas in New Orleans is cheaper than national average

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

A gallon of gas cost $3.36 on average in New Orleans metro as of Aug. 1, per GasBuddy.

  • That's compared to the nationwide average of $3.76, and down 7.5% from August 2022.

The big picture: Nationwide, average gas prices are up a bit from 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 Louisiana and Texas, 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.
Change in U.S. gas prices
Data: GasBuddy; Note: Price as of the 1st of each month; Map: Axios Visuals

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 trend lines, 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.

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 statement this week.

  • But "the respite from gasoline rising may not last long."

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