Gas prices remain stubbornly high, but at least they’ve stabilized

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Gas prices near a billboard in L.A. (Getty Images)

 

Good news: Gasoline prices have stabilized, to use AAA’s word for the situation. The bad news is, they have stabilized at a high level.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded in the United States hit $4.33 a couple of weeks ago, as you may recall. That was March 11. Now, that average is $4.24. It’s not a decline that’s going to make much difference to your total at the pump, but every cent helps. Literally every cent, as that’s down just a penny from last week.

Why isn’t it falling further? A few reasons, probably the biggest being that a barrel of Brent crude oil as of this morning is still over $112, and West Texas Intermediate is over $114. And as we’ve mentioned in past coverage, oil companies like those numbers just where they’re at, and aren’t really interested in loosening up supply. This is their chance to make bank after years of oversupply kept prices low.

In fact, the oil companies ratcheted down supply by another 3 million barrels last week. Total domestic crude inventories are 18 percent lower than they were in mid-March 2021.

Plus, Russia’s war against Ukraine is unrelenting. “The global oil market reflects the volatility caused by the war in Ukraine grinding onward,” said AAA spokesman Andrew Gross. “And with oil prices refusing to fall, the price at the pump is likewise meeting resistance at dropping further.”

According to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA), Americans’ thirst for petroleum has declined — but only slightly. The decrease in demand simply isn’t enough to outweigh the other factors and force pump prices down.

If you’re thinking, hey wait, gas prices fell quite a bit last week, maybe that’s because you live in Georgia. It saw an average price cut of 17 cents per gallon, the week’s biggest change. Last Friday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp waived the state’s 29-cent gas tax and signed into law a $1.1 billion refund on gas taxes to consumers that would hand back $250 to single tax filers, $375 to heads of households and $500 to married couples filing jointly. Georgia has a budget surplus, and Kemp is up for reelection.

However, the other big movers were all upward: Nevada (+13 cents), Utah (+9 cents), Montana (+8 cents), Arizona (+8 cents), Wyoming (+8 cents), Delaware (+7 cents), Washington, D.C. (+7 cents), Idaho (+6 cents) and California (+6 cents).

And some markets continue to have it pretty good, at least relative to the rest of us. Here are the states with the best average prices: Missouri ($3.78), Kansas ($3.80), Oklahoma ($3.81), Arkansas ($3.82), Maryland ($3.82), Nebraska ($3.87), Texas ($3.87), Iowa ($3.88), North Dakota ($3.91) and Mississippi ($3.91).

Until these high prices fall …

… Which could take awhile, be sure to take advantage of Autoblog’s Cheap Gas Near Me finder tool — and use our tips for getting better fuel economy in whatever you’re driving.

Plus, as EV offerings continue to heat up, check out Autoblog Green and our Reviews page for latest developments.

 

 

 



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