The average gas price has not only fallen once again, but it’s fallen at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic.
That’s according to the latest weekly report from GasBuddy, which stated that the average gas price has dropped 12.8 cents to $4.66 per gallon as of Monday. The average is down 34.4 cents from a month ago, although it remains $1.54 per gallon higher than it was a year ago.
As usual, the reason for the change is all about oil prices.
“The national average has declined for 27 days straight, or four weeks, the longest decline in average gas prices since the pandemic started in 2020. Average gas prices are down nearly 40 cents, with Americans shelling out $140 million less on gasoline every day than they did a month ago,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in the blog post.
“We may see the trend last a fifth week, as long as oil prices remain cooperative and don’t surge beyond $105 per barrel, and as long as refinery production of gasoline remains strong,” De Haan added.
“But we’re not completely out of the woods yet—we could also see a sharp reversal in the decline. There remains the risk of a spike in prices that could send us to new record levels in August, should any disruptions occur. It could be a wild ride, but for now, the plummet at the pump shall continue,” he concluded.
On his Twitter account, De Haan also addressed a recent talking point about the sale of some of the oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.
“Why today, nearly 3 months after the DOE announced a sale (Apr 1) to Unipec, are the political talking heads now bringing it up? Selling oil to China is absolutely irrelevant, they were a high bidder,” he said. And DeHaan added that the average could go south of $4 later this summer unless there are disruptions from hurricane season, which is often a factor in August.
The other weekly gas prices report, from AAA, had the average price at $4.67, a 12-cent decline from the week before.
“Usually, more people buying gas would lead to higher pump prices,” Andrew Gross, AAA’s spokesperson, said in the report. “But the price for oil, the main ingredient in gasoline, has fallen and is hovering around $100 a barrel. Less expensive oil usually means less expensive gas.”
AAA had the average price down thirty-two cents from a month ago, while up $1.53 from a year ago. AAA also estimated that a new record of forty-two million people hit the road on the July 4 weekend, the historically high gas prices notwithstanding.
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.