Mar 1, 2023 - News

Phoenix gas prices drop but are still higher than most of U.S.

Gas prices in the <b style='text-decoration: underline; text-underline-position: under; color: #ff7900;'>Phoenix</b> metro area and the <b style='text-decoration: underline; text-underline-position: under; color: #858585;'>U.S.</b>
Data: GasBuddy; Note: Price as of the 1st of each month; Chart: Axios Visuals

Metro Phoenix drivers spent an average of $3.56 per gallon of gas as of Feb. 1, GasBuddy data shows. That price is higher than the $3.40 national average, which was down 6% from last February, but up 2% month over month.

The big picture: (Relatively) cheap gas is good news for consumers, especially commuters.

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 sensitive to the ebbs and flows of prices at the pump — especially as other basic goods also get more expensive.

  • Gas prices are also a political football, rightfully so or not. When they're high, many Americans tend to blame whoever's sitting in the Oval Office — even though, as Axios' Andrew Freedman has reported, they lack significant control over the cost of commodities priced on global markets, oil included.

Driving the news: 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 around $76 as of late February, down from about $122 in June 2022.
  • Oil prices spiked last year amid uncertainty over Russia's invasion of Ukraine and economic sanctions against Russia — a major oil producer — that followed.
  • As the fighting drags on, oil markets have largely stabilized, CNN reports.

Reality check: Charging up an electric vehicle isn't always significantly cheaper than filling a tank with gasoline — especially on road trips, Axios' Joann Muller recently found.

  • EVs aren't perfectly clean, either. Mining for the requisite materials can damage local ecosystems, while EVs' environmental benefit is lessened if they're charged with "dirty power" from, say, a coal plant.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Phoenix stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more