• Business

Just in Time for Memorial Day: Higher Gas Prices

3 minute read

Drivers are paying more to fill their gas tanks ahead of the Memorial Day this weekend.

The national average price at the pump is rising just in time for the three-day weekend, when many people go on road trips. The cost of regular gasoline has risen 32 of the past 34 days, according to the American Automobile Association.

“Consumers are paying a nickel per gallon more than one week ago and 26 cents more per gallon than one month ago,” the association said. “With the exception of Pennsylvania, where the price has moved lower by fractions of a penny, consumers in every state and Washington, D.C. are paying more at the pump week-over-week.”

The national average is currently $2.71 per gallon. Here are the states with the highest fuel prices (in average price per gallon), plus three with the lowest, according to AAA:

AAA manager of public relations Michael Green pointed out that fuel prices are subject to global and geopolitical trends:

“The global oil market remains oversupplied, but market watchers are closely monitoring U.S. production and the recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East for any impact that could shift this balance. Volatility will likely continue to characterize the global market in the near term as traders closely watch the balance between supply and demand. In particular, more expensive crude could lead to an increase in production and supply, which could put a ceiling on the current rally in price. Speculators are also interpreting the latest action by the so-called Islamic State, who seized control of the city of Ramadi, Iraq, as a reminder of regional instability in the near term.”

Patrick DeHaan, another petroleum analyst at the gas price tracking site GasBuddy.com, noted that the price increases are tapering off. “The rise we’ve seen in the national average over the month is showing signs of fading,” he wrote. “While higher demand is expected for this Memorial Day weekend, crude oil inventories remain plentiful and stand some 86 million barrels higher than a year ago. That reminder could inspire some selling in crude oil, as could bearish comments recently made by OPEC, or data showing that the 24-week decline in oil rigs is greatly slowing down.”

Despite their recent ascent, gas prices are still lower than they have been for this date since 2009. In fact, they’re way down — by nearly a full dollar a gallon — from a year ago.


More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com