Automotive

Gas Price Watch: A Penny For Your Thoughts


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Illustration: Angelica Alzona (Shutterstock)

Hello, hello from the other side of the Costco gas lane! The one where you have to wrestle with the gas line to reach your fuel door because it’s on the opposite side of the car. My wife hates when I use an opposite-side lane, but I swear by it because the wait is consistently shorter. I guess folks at Costco hate playing tug of war with the pump. But if I’m going to pay more to gas up, I’m not going to wait, too! Here is your daily update on gas prices!

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A gallon of gas will cost a penny less today. The average price in the country for one gallon of regular unleaded gas dropped on Tuesday, down to $4.24, the AAA reports. We’re now into a days-long downward trend, but I’d say it’s best to keep a cautious outlook. The G7 is meeting this week to discuss more sanctions on Russia, and that could have an impact on fuel and energy costs around the world. Ultimately, that could affect us and we could see prices rebound upward.

And in case you missed it, domestic oil production is facing woes as 500 workers at Chevron’s Richmond Refinery went on strike. Pundits say it could affect prices at the pump, but make no mistake: the West Coast has been hurting throughout the surge and even as the country’s average prices go down, drivers in places like San Diego are paying close to six dollars per gallon.

Even with my tolerance for higher prices (my old BMW e36 has a compression ratio that’s happier with more octane, and so is Norma’s Acura) I would think six bucks a pop has to hurt! The AAA says that four dollars is the “tipping point” for most Americans before they change their spending habits, and well, we are way past that price.


Image for article titled Gas Price Watch: A Penny For Your Thoughts

Graphic: AAA

Especially when you account for inflation, because even at Tuesday’s cheaper price of $4.24 per gallon, there are more layers to these costs. From the Wall Street Journal:

Those prices at the pump don’t factor in inflation, though, which reached its highest rate in four decades last month. Inflation-adjusted gas prices are at their highest levels since 2014 and similar to what U.S. drivers saw in the early 1980s.

Inflation-adjusted gas prices aren’t at record highs. But if March prices average $4.22 a gallon, as they have so far, they still show that motorists will have been saddled with the biggest month-over-month price increase since EIA records began in the mid-’70s. The next-highest increase was after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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In any case, let’s take a look at the breakdown of the day’s slightly cheaper prices, even if they are essentially not much better than yesterday. Take a penny, leave a penny.

Here is where you can find the highest average gas prices in the country in order of highest price for a gallon regular:

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  • California – $5.86 Regular | $6.06 Mid | $6.19 Premium | $6.26 Diesel
  • Nevada – $5.13 Regular | $5.35 Mid | $5.54 Premium | $5.21 Diesel
  • Hawaii – $5.09 Regular | $5.28 Mid | $5.56 Premium | $5.37 Diesel
  • Washington – $4.72 Regular | $4.94 Mid | $5.13 Premium | $5.39 Diesel
  • Oregon – $4.70 Regular | $4.90 Mid | $5.09 Premium | $5.33 Diesel

Here is the lowest average price of gasoline in the country in order of lowest price per gallon of regular:

  • Kansas – $3.76 Regular | $4.03 Mid | $4.29 Premium | $4.60 Diesel
  • Missouri – $3.76 Regular | $4.05 Mid | $4.32 Premium | $4.66 Diesel
  • Oklahoma – $3.78 Regular | $4.06 Mid | $4.30 Premium | $4.65 Diesel
  • Maryland – $3.78 Regular | $4.28 Mid | $4.54 Premium | $4.64 Diesel
  • Arkansas – $3.82 Regular | $4.13 Mid | $4.42 Premium | $4.74 Diesel

The highs and lows, again, are keeping steady. The order shuffling only slightly.

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