Gas prices top $4 in every US state for the first time

Motorists face a new — and unwelcome — milestone: gas prices are now at least $4 a gallon in every U.S. state, a first for the nation, according to AAA.

The average price per gallon hit a new record high of $4.52 on Tuesday, the automaker said.

California motorists are hardest hit, with prices in the Golden State hitting a new record high of $6.02 per gallon, AAA said. Soaring gasoline prices are contributing to the highest inflation in four decades and eating away at consumers’ wallets.

Because consumers spend more on gasoline, they reduce other consumer goods and services, JPMorgan mentioned in a May 13 report.

The reason for the recent spike in gas prices is due to several factors, AAA said.

First, crude oil prices “remain volatile” and pump prices will likely continue to be elevated until crude falls below $105 a barrel. Currently, benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $109 per barrel.

Second, gas stations are switching to their summer gasoline blends, which AAA says adds up to 10 cents a gallon to motorist costs. The shift to blending happens every year and is unrelated to the Biden administration’s plan to allow E15 gasolinee for sale throughout the summer. This blend, which contains 15% ethanol, is generally prohibited for purchase from June 1 to September 15.

Until Monday, there were three states where gas could still be found at an average price of less than $4 a gallon: Georgia, Kansas and Oklahoma. But with Tuesday’s price spike, those states joined the $4-a-gallon club, with prices hitting $4.06 in Georgia; $4 in Kansas; and $4.01 in Oklahoma.

first published on 17 May 2022 / 09:29

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