Gasoline prices continued their steady decline in the United States on Thursday, with the national average dropping to $4.44 a gallon, according to AAA. That’s down about 11% since prices at the pump hit an all-time high of $5.016 a gallon on June 14, 2022.
Four states have seen average prices dip back below $4 a gallon: Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas.
Even pricey California has seen a big drop of late, as its average price fell to $5.818 a gallon on Thursday — down from a record high of $6.438 on June 14. That represents a decline of about 10% in a five weeks, which is great for Californians, but not nearly as big of a decrease as other states have seen.
Texas has seen the biggest drop from its all-time high at a whopping 19%. States in the Great Lakes region have also seen major price declines, including Ohio (down 16% from its record high), Indiana (down 14%), Wisconsin (down 14%) and Michigan (down 13%). South Carolina has also seen its average gas price drop 14% from its all-time high.
The states that have seen the least movement tend to be concentrated in the Rocky Mountain region, NewsNation reported. That’s partly the result of a fire in March at a Montana ExxonMobil refinery, according to Patrick De Haan, lead petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.
“The refinery has reopened in the last few weeks but as a result, supply is only starting to now gain momentum,” De Haan said.
Overall, however, prices continue to slide after moving sharply higher earlier in the year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The main reason gas prices are falling now is because oil prices are also sinking on fears of a global recession.
White House officials have given much of the credit for falling prices to a decision by President Joe Biden to release a million barrels of oil a day from U.S. emergency reserves. But De Haan downplays Biden’s impact on gas prices, regardless of whether they go up or down.
“The president does not deserve credit for the fall in prices, nor does he really deserve any blame for the rise in prices,” De Haan told NewsNation. “This is a global commodity and we’re subject to global economic conditions.”
Meanwhile, De Haan also warns that prices could head back up again if certain events take place, such as a severe hurricane season.
“We are not out of the woods just yet because prices are falling,” De Haan told Fox News earlier this week. “Things are still very tight globally [and] supplies are still very constrained. If we get one major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that shuts down a couple of major refineries, [gas prices] are going to go right back up.”
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