Summer Is Over But Gas Prices Didn't Get the Memo

October 5, 2021 Topic: Gas Prices Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: Gas PricesHurricane IdaOPECPandemic RecoveryGas Demand

Summer Is Over But Gas Prices Didn't Get the Memo

Fall usually brings relief from the high gas prices of the summer. But not this year. 

Most years, gas prices drop in the fall from summer highs, and it had been predicted throughout the summer that that would happen this year. Gas prices did drop over Labor Day, although the continuing drop never materialized, due to a variety of factors, including Hurricane Ida, which affected production in the Gulf of Mexico.

As September has turned to October, gas prices have continued to remain high, although they have held generally steady.

According to GasBuddy, the average gas price in the United States last week was $3.18 per gallon, about the same as the week before. The average also remains the same as it was a month ago, while it’s still $1.01 higher than the same time last year. The most commonly found gas price remained $2.99 a gallon, followed by prices of $3.09, $2.89, and $3.19, GasBuddy said.

“We’ve seen very little overall movement in gas prices over the last week with prices remaining near their 2021 highs as crude oil prices remain well above $70 on supply concerns and strong global demand,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, said in a blog post on Monday.

Part of what is keeping prices high is that crude oil has reached a seven-year high after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced that it will continue to slowly increase production. At the same time, demand in the United States declined slightly.

“With energy in high demand ahead of the winter heating season and a surge in global demand due to COVID-induced imbalances, we’re not likely to see a meaningful decline at the pump any time soon, but unfortunately, could see prices holding near these levels for the next few weeks,” said De Haan. 

The American Automobile Association (AAA), meanwhile, had the national average at $3.20 a gallon, which was two cents higher than the week before and the highest average price since 2014.

“Global economic uncertainty and supply chain concerns caused by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic could be playing a role in keeping crude oil prices elevated,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said on the organization’s website. “But, there may be some relief on the horizon due to the news that OPEC and its allies might ramp up production increases faster than previously agreed.” 

AAA’s estimate had that level as two cents higher than a month earlier, and more than a dollar higher than a year ago.

Gas prices went up eleven cents in Ohio, seven cents in Arizona, six cents in Illinois, four cents in Missouri, and three cents in Washington, D.C. California remains the most expensive state for gas prices, with gas averaging $4.40 a gallon, with Hawaii second at $4.08 and Nevada third at $3.89 a gallon.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters