The national average price of gasoline has reached $2.77 for the week of March 8, 2021, which is a 31 cent jump in the last month, according to AAA.
All state averages have climbed by double-digits since February, which has resulted in one in 10 gas stations with pump prices that are $3 a gallon or more, AAA said.
Pump prices are increasing as refinery utilization is at an all-time low and crude oil prices (WTI) surged to $66 a barrel on Friday, the highest price in nearly two years. The jump in crude followed OPEC’s decision to minimally increase production in April.
“With crude oil prices back on the rise, we could see the national average climb towards $2.90 this spring with some relief by early summer,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “The last time we saw the national average flirt with $3 was nearly three years ago in May 2018. At that time, crude was averaging about $71 per barrel.”
This week's national average is nearly 40 cents more expensive compared to a year ago, which was right before state lockdowns started.
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases included Utah (up 21 cents), Wyoming (up 15 cents), Idaho (up 13 cents), New Mexico (up 12 cents), Florida (up 10 cents), Oklahoma (up 10 cents), Montana (up 10 cents), Colorado (up 9 cents), Alaska (up 9 cents) and Arkansas (up 9 cents).
Meanwhile, the nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are Mississippi ($2.44), Louisiana ($2.47), Texas ($2.50), Missouri ($2.50), South Carolina ($2.51), Alabama ($2.51), Arkansas ($2.55), Kentucky ($2.56), Tennessee ($2.57) and North Carolina ($2.57).