If you plan to road trip around the United States this summer, be prepared to pay $4 a gallon for gas no matter where you stop. For the first time ever, the average price of gasoline is $4 or higher in all 50 states, according to AAA.
The final three states to cross the $4 barrier were Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma. As of May 16, all three had average prices under $4 a gallon, AAA reported. But each of those states moved above $4 on Wednesday, May 18.
The national average is $4.567 a gallon, a new record high. That compares to $4.404 a week ago, $4.087 a month ago and $3.043 a year ago.
Prices could push even higher as demand rises during the summer travel season. Analysts at JPMorgan warn that the national average could push about $6 a gallon amid a dwindling supply, CNN Business reported.
For now, California is the only state where average prices at the pump have risen about $6 a gallon. The Golden State’s current average is a wallet-draining $6.05 a gallon. Kansas has the cheapest average at $4.026.
Gas prices have been rising steadily for more than a year, but they’ve really surged in 2022 amid a collision of different forces that have pushed oil prices higher. These forces include Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted the global oil supply; a low inventory of petroleum at U.S. refineries; and an unwillingness on the part of OPEC to release more reserves.
“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a statement earlier this week. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”
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