Gas Prices 20+ cents higher this Memorial Day

While many of us enjoy parades, times of reflection over lost loved ones who fought for America, or time with family on the beach or the lake – today is the first day of the summer driving season.  According to AAA, North Carolina’s gas prices are about 20 cents higher than on Memorial Day in 2013.  Predictions have said highways in both North and South Carolina will be busier this weekend than on any Memorial Day in nearly a decade, with almost 980,000 motorists in North Carolina and 452,000 in South Carolina expected to travel more than 50 miles over the holiday weekend.  Gasoline prices are typically higher in the summer months, and Memorial Day is a baseline many use when comparing prices of gasoline.  A report from AAA states:

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While drivers in 30 states and the District of Columbia are paying a year-over-year premium, consumers in a handful of markets are experiencing dramatic savings at the pump versus a year ago: Minnesota (-78 cents), North Dakota (-64 cents), Nebraska and Iowa (-55 cents), and Oklahoma (-50 cents).  These lofty discounts are due to Midwestern refinery issues last year, which saw regional prices spike. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the price at the pump in 21 states and the District of Columbia reflects a double-digit yearly increase, with the largest premiums being paid in Pennsylvania (+29 cents), South Carolina and Alabama (+22 cents), and North Carolina (+20 cents).

See the charts from AAA below for the changes in gas prices over the last few years:

Fuel Price Comparison

Gasoline Decreases

Gasoline Increases

Sarah Curry

Sarah Curry is Director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the John Locke Foundation.

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