Gasoline prices are again headed toward $3 a gallon. In several states, the cost of an average gallon of regular is already above that level. And 14 states have crossed the $2.80 barrier and are mostly racing higher.
Gas prices, based on an average gallon of regular, are above $3 in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. The only one of these with a large population is California, the top state, with a population of 39.5 million. That is 12% of America’s total population.
However, several other large states have breached the $2.80 barrier, which means much of the U.S. population is paying very high prices. This includes Pennsylvania at $2.95; Michigan, Illinois and New York at $2.84; and Washington, D.C., and Connecticut at $2.83, according to GasBuddy. Among those states, there are over 60 million residents, or almost 20% of America’s population.
The AAA recently released a statement about the price increase and reasons it could rise further:
At $2.71, gas prices are at their most expensive point in nearly three years and continue to climb. On the week, the national average increased a nickel. Motorists in six west coast states are paying more than $3/gallon. Across the country, only 27 percent of gas stations are selling gas for $2.50 or less.
“Expensive crude oil prices, unrest in the Middle East, strong domestic demand, record production rates and global oil supply surplus have created the perfect storm to drive spring gas prices toward new heights,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Consumers can expect gas prices to increase another 5 to 10 cents this season, but the national average is not expected to reach the $3 mark.”
The national average may not reach that mark, but much of America is already near or above that $3 number.