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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Motorists traveling for the long holiday weekend will find it costs less to fill up at the pump.
According to AAA, the average national gas price was $2.24 on June 29, the lowest on record for the year. It is also an indicator that gasoline prices could drop below the July 4, 2005 $2.23-per-gallon price — the first time prices at the pump climbed above $2 for the Independence Day holiday.
"Consumers can find gas for $2.25 or less at 63 percent of gas stations across the country. That is a welcome savings for the 37.5 million Americans driving to their Independence Day Weekend destination," said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.
"Demand has been too slow to eat away at the surplus of crude and gasoline inventories, and motorists are benefitting," she added.
According to the association, 33 states are selling gas for $2 or less. South Carolina has the cheapest gas prices by far with 86 percent of stations at or below the $2 mark, while the state's gas price average is $1.91.
Other states with more than half of stations at or below $2.00 include:
- Alabama at $1.98 per gallon (79 percent of stations)
- Mississippi at $1.99 per gallon (75 percent of stations)
- Missouri at $1.99 per gallon (70 percent of stations)
- Tennessee at $2 per gallon (69 percent of stations)
- Oklahoma at $1.96 per gallon (68 percent)
"Historically, early June has been an indicator for summer gasoline demand," Casselano said. "This year, it's an indicator that high refinery output outpaces moderate demand and consumers will continue to see a downward price trend until production slows or demand substantially increases."
This year, U.S. gasoline prices first hit a low of $2.26 per gallon on Feb. 8, and the yearly high hit at $2.42 per gallon on April 20.
The year-to-date average price for motor fuel stands at $2.33 per gallon. The first six months produced a tiny gap between the low and high of just 16 cents per gallon, AAA said.