U.S. average gasoline prices hit $3.51 as of 3am February 14th, which marks the seventh week following an upward trend. With gas prices this high, this early in the year, Americans can expect to see some of the highest gas prices in U.S. history as early as June.
Prices at the pump are up 13 cents from $3.38 a month ago, and 39 cents from a year ago, when gas prices were $3.12 a gallon.
The price of gas is expected to rise another 60 cents by summer, reaching an average $4.05 per gallon.
It won’t be long until we see prices similar to those of summer 2008, when the US average peaked at $4.11.
So what’s behind the hike in gasoline prices?
Historically, it’s been because of seasonal fluctuations in demand and higher environmental standards on summer refining formulas.
But perhaps the most influential contributing factor is the price of crude oil. Crude oil prices have stayed right around $100 a barrel, coming in at $101.64 this morning, up by almost 20 percent from February 2011.
With an anticipated national average of $4.05 per gallon, big cities like Chicago, L.A. and New York could see $4.60 a gallon or higher by June.
Brian L. Milne, refined fuels editor for Telvent DTN, predicts an even worse blow to people’s wallets, saying that some parts of the country are likely to see a staggering $5.00 a gallon at local gas stations.
Hope you’re not planning any summer vacations that require you to drive more than 80 miles. If so, consider starting a designated gas fund before you find yourself funneling all of your vacation savings into your gas tank.
Until next time,