Gasoline Actually Cheaper Than Last Year
The national average for a gallon of gasoline has dropped under its year ago level, standing at $2.35 per gallon today, according to GasBuddy. It's the first time in over 200 days that the current gas price is lower than a year ago, and is now the cheapest June 9th to fill up on since 2005, when the national average stood at $2.11 per gallon.
Some 21 states are currently witnessing lower averages than a year ago, with some states experiencing significantly discounted prices to last year: Ohio (26 cents lower), Illinois (25 cents), Indiana (20 cents), Kentucky (16 cents) and Michigan (13 cents) round out the top five, while Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Virginia also have prices at least 5 cents lower than a year ago.
"At the beginning of the year, I would have bet against you if you'd have said gas prices this summer could be lower than last year- which saw the cheapest summer average since 2005. With OPEC's production cut in November, such a prediction seemed next to impossible, but the resiliency of U.S. shale production has indeed surprised," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.
For some states, however, refinery issues have caused prices to temporarily spike, leading gas prices to surge over year ago levels. Leading that dubious list: Hawaii (54 cents higher), Nevada (34 cents), Alaska (32 cents), California (31 cents) and Arizona (21 cents). In New Jersey, a state where gasoline taxes spiked 23 cents per gallon last fall, gas prices are 23.5 cents per gallon higher. Motorists can however, mitigate paying more at the pump by observing the spread between stations in any market and still come out less scathed than they would by not shopping around.
"There is, however, some good news for everyone. With oil prices plummeting some 5% so far this week, there will likely be lower gasoline prices coming for much of the country, but motorists should still be wary with low gas prices: the likelihood of getting a bad deal on filling up rises as prices fall," noted DeHaan, citing a previous GasBuddy study, HERE, that found more Americans overpay at the pump when gas prices were low.