Gas Prices Hover at Eight-Year High at Start of Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Week

By Paul Riegler on 21 November 2021
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A filling station in New York City earlier in the week.

If you think you’re paying more at the pump, you’re not wrong: Gasoline prices have spiked over the past 12 months.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.38 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, compared to $2.24 one year earlier, when fuel prices hit record lows due to the coronavirus pandemic-induced decline in travel.

The cost per gallon is the highest it’s been since 2013, when it was $3.42.

There are, however, some signs that the rise in fuel costs may be slowing or even starting to reverse.

The Automobile Association of America noted a slight decline in gasoline prices for the current week, reporting an average price for regular of $3.408 per gallon, versus $3.413 last week.  The average price for premium was $4.036 per gallon, the AAA said, versus $4.038 in the prior week.

In addition, the price of oil has fallen below the critical $80 a barrel level. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $2.40 on Wednesday to $78.36, a 3% decline, although it recovered slightly to $78.82 by the end of the week.  The price brings Brent crude o its lowest level since early October.

Further, the Biden administration is said to be considering a release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to further calm the market, and partial and full lockdowns in multiple Western European nations will dampen the demand for oil going forward.

Finally, some surveys indicate that high fuel prices have caused many people have to rethink their travel plans and remain close to home versus driving long distances.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)