Gas Prices Fall to $3.57 Per Gallon After Hitting Early Summer High

Crude Oil, Fossil Fuel, Price, Reduction, Graph.
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If you’re planning a road trip this summer, here’s some good news: Average gasoline prices in the United States are back below $3.60 a gallon following a brief rise a couple of weeks ago.

The national retail average dipped to $3.57 a gallon as of May 2 after reaching a 2023 peak of $3.69 in late April, according to GasBuddy. Prices are back on the decline just as Americans move closer to summer vacation.

The dip in prices at the pump coincides with lower oil prices both domestically and overseas. The price of U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell to $75.45 a barrel as of May 1, Forbes reported. Meanwhile, the international benchmark Brent Crude Oil dipped to $77.03, despite plans by OPEC oil-producing countries to cut oil production.

Separate data from AAA found that the national gasoline average stood at $3.596 a gallon as of May 2, 2023. That was down from $3.656 a week ago and $4.194 a year ago, but up from $3.505 a month ago. Current prices are well below last year’s high of $5.016 a gallon set on June 14, 2022.

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Gas prices are cheapest in the South, with Mississippi recording the nation’s lowest average at $3.072 a gallon, followed by Texas ($3.153) and Louisiana ($3.176). Those prices probably seem like a bargain to drivers in the West, who continue to pay well above the national average. Californians pay the highest average at $4.863 a gallon, while those in Hawaii, Arizona and Washington state also pay well above $4.50 a gallon on average.

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Prices are lower than the national average in most of the Midwest — with the exception of Illinois, where drivers pay an average of $4.025 a gallon. Prices are also less than the national average in most of the Northeast, where they range from a high of $3.730 in Pennsylvania to a low of $3.407 in Delaware.

Industry watchers expect prices at the pump to keep falling in coming weeks.

“The national average reached $3.68 last week, and that might be the peak price for now,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in an April 27 news release. “As long as the oil cost keeps wobbling around the low to mid $70s per barrel, drivers will benefit when they fuel up.”

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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