WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This summer will feel a lot like last summer when it comes to gasoline prices.
According to AAA, the average price of gas will likely vary between a nationwide average of $3.55 and $3.70 per regular gallon, similar to last year. Major refinery disruptions and political unrest would raise the price even higher.
“While it is impossible to predict the exact price of gasoline, we can guarantee that millions of Americans will pay high prices as they hit the roads this summer,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. “Expect a feeling of déjà vu, with gasoline costing about the same as last summer.”
Prices will likely be the highest from Independence Day through the end of August, as refineries work to keep up with high fuel demand, Ash noted.
Some good news may be found this month, however. Fuel prices have dropped during June for the past three years and AAA predicts prices could fall 10 cents per gallon this month if refinery production increases as expected. Gas prices averaged $3.60 in June 2013, $3.50 in June 2012 and $3.68 in June 2011.
U.S. motorists could use some good news in June as May was nothing to cheer about as far as consumers and their wallets are concerned. The national average price per regular gallon was $3.66 in May, 2 cents higher than April and 7 cents higher than May 2013.
"After such a long, brutal winter, it seems many drivers took advantage of the great weather in May," said Ash. "Significantly stronger-than-expected gasoline demand has kept prices high heading into the summer driving season."
Today, June 3, the nationwide average stands at $3.65 per gallon, about 5 cents higher than one year ago. Drivers in 29 states are paying an average gas price higher than last year, with the most expensive differences occurring in Pennsylvania (26 cents higher), South Carolina (23 cents higher) and Kentucky (23 cents higher).
Conversely, the states enjoying the largest declines vs. one year ago are North Dakota (44 cents lower), Iowa (36 cents lower) and Minnesota (36 cents lower).