The national average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline was $3.61 on Monday, July 15, according to AAA’s latest Fuel Gauge Report. This price is up 14 cents over last week and is 22 cents higher than on the same day last year.
The company said gas prices hit a low of $3.47 on July 7, which coincides with summer lows in previous years. In 2011, the national average price fell to $3.54 per gallon on June 30, and in 2012, it dropped to $3.33 on July 2. Although prices are moving up, the national average price is still well below the all-time high, which was $4.11 on July 17, 2008.
On a regional basis, Midwestern states are again seeing large price increases, with examples of increases such as 32 cents in Indiana and 30 cents in Michigan in the last week. AAA noted that motorists in every state except Colorado and Utah are paying more for gas than they did a week ago. In the Northeast, prices are rising, too, due to higher crude oil prices on the global market and production issues at Irving’s Saint John refinery in Canada and Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ refinery in Philadelphia. Also, planned maintenance at the Phillips 66 Bayway refinery in New Jersey is driving prices up in the region, according to AAA.
Oil prices are also affecting gas prices, and in turn are being affected by geopolitical events, specifically unrest in Egypt, which controls shipping through the Suez Canal. In addition, U.S. oil inventories have fallen by more than 20 million barrels in the last two weeks. The price of West Texas Intermediate Crude settled at $106.32 per barrel on July 15.
The chart below shows the top price increases in the U.S. July 1 - 15.