The national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.145, down from $2.885 a year ago. In 13 states, the figure is below $2, and the number is growing, according to the AAA, based on numbers for November 17.
Those states are Alabama ($1.910), Arkansas ($1.979), Indiana ($1.987), Louisiana ($1.956), Missouri ($1.922), Mississippi ($1.942), New Jersey ($1.986), Ohio ($1.983), Oklahoma ($1.954) South Carolina ($1.900), Tennessee ($1.966), Texas ($1.921) and Virginia ($1.969).
Oil production by a state does not mean low gas prices. Gas taxes and proximity to refineries do. The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Alaska is $2.402. Most of its gas comes from refineries hundreds of miles to its south. The high price in Alaska is despite the state having lowest taxes and levies in the nation at $0.3065 per gallon. The national average for these charges is $0.4865. Similarly, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in shale-rich North Dakota is $2.265.
The gas taxes in New Jersey, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Virginia and Ohio are all below the national average, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
Many of the states with low gas prices are those with large refineries or ones adjacent to these states. This is certainly true of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Jersey.
At the current rate of decline, and with the price of crude dipping below $40 a barrel, the gas prices in some of these states may be below $1.75 soon. That would be a holiday gift to drivers who have long trips during the holidays, and it might free up some money for consumer spending.
A AAA research note:
The AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report is a public service of the United States of America’s largest motoring and leisure travel membership organization and is updated daily by Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) with average national, state and local prices for gasoline, diesel and E-85. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed in cooperation with WEX, Inc. for unmatched statistical reliability.