States with the highest gas prices | Best States

They’re on the minds of anyone who has to drive, especially as the summer travel season begins: gas prices. The lingering effects of the pandemic and Russia’s war with Ukraine have boosted global oil supplies, pushing prices at the pump to levels not seen in 2014.

After a spike that began earlier this month, prices are starting to fall this week ahead of the July 4 bank holiday weekend. Either way, drivers in some states definitely have it worse than others. As of June 30, average regular gasoline prices ranged from $4.36 in Georgia to a huge high of $6.29 in Californiaaccording to AAA National Automobile Club. The national average was $4.86, an increase of almost 56% over last year.

The Western and Pacific states face the most expensive gas in the country, as the five highest priced states are California, Hawaii ($5.60), Alaska ($5.57), Nevada ($5.57) and Oregon ($5.49). Of course, there can be significant cost differences within a state or even a city, depending on factors such as local competition or an area’s access to pipelines and refineries.

California’s high average gas price is particularly noteworthy because it has most cars in all states and some of the longest travel times in the country. Why is gas so expensive in the Golden State? It’s a combination of higher environmental standards for fuel and higher gasoline taxes than most states. Gas stations must sell a cleaner fuel blend that few refineries outside of California produce, which can make it difficult to find fuel in times of shortage.

“Gasoline prices in California are generally higher and more variable than prices in other states because relatively few supply sources offer California’s unique blend of gasoline outside of the state,” said the US Energy Information Administration. Noted.

For cheaper prices, head south, where you’ll find the five states with the cheapest average gas prices: Georgia ($4.36), Caroline from the south ($4.37), Mississippi ($4.38), Arkansas ($4.41) and Louisiana ($4.42).

Although the South stands out with cheaper prices, the states that have seen the lowest relative price changes over the past year are actually further west. Hawaii saw the smallest percentage price change from a year ago, an increase of “only” about 40%. Price in California, Colorado and Washington the whole increased by about 45%.

On the other hand, the inhabitants of Arizona were particularly unlucky because their state saw the largest percentage increase in gasoline prices year over year: a 67% increase from $3.13 to $5.22. Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont all also saw increases of more than 63%.

While gas prices right now may make drivers cringe, these aren’t the worst increases in recent US history. According to US Energy Information Administrationinflation-adjusted gasoline prices were equally high or higher from 2011 to 2014, from 2005 to 2008, and from 1980 to 1981.

National leaders are considering ways to give motorists a break from the pumps. President Joe Biden last week called for Congress to approve a three-month gas tax exemption, which could save drivers up to 18 cents per gallon. The movement, however, faces an uncertain future.

With falling prices for the second consecutive week, there is reason for optimism for consumers, as the Energy Information Administration predicts the decline could continue. But if the pandemic has taught the country anything, it’s that the world can often go in directions no one would expect.

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