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U.S. gas prices likely go rise further in summer, statistics show

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Your U.S. road trip might be an expensive venture this summer. Photo:

Your U.S. road trip might be an expensive venture this summer. Photo:

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]nce again everyone in the United States seem to be talking about the price of gasoline. It’s understandable – the price has increased for 32 of the last 35 days, news media reported. The price is currently close to record levels for this time of the year, the according to the Mercury News. On Tuesday this week, prices inched up to $3.78 a gallon after holding steady at about $3.77 the previous two days, the USA Today reported. The respite ended 36 days of price gains that had pushed pump prices nearly 50 cents a gallon since Jan. 1.

And prices are likely to rise further, according to experts.

“Despite the significant rise in retail gasoline prices since the start of the year, a part of the even steeper rise in wholesale prices has not been fully reflected in pump prices,” the Energy Information Administration reported in a statement.

US gas prices are likely to continue to increase. Photo:

US gas prices are likely to continue to increase. Photo:

And this may still just be the beginning. This summer, if several factors coincide, gas prices could hit new record levels.

The Traveling Reporter has dug into the statistics of gasoline prices, and they provide weak comfort for car-loving americans and tourists who may be planning a U.S. road trip.

Usually, according to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the gas average price in the United States has increased between about 20 and 60 cents between February and July–August. The pattern has been more or less the same during the last twelve years. With the current price at about 3.78, this could mean summer prices of around $4.38 a gallon (3.78 litres).


[colored_box color=”red”]Average monthly U.S. gasoline prices, 2000–2013[/colored_box]

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Average US gas prices, 2000-2013. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Average US gas prices, 2000-2013. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In any case, pprices are likely to continue to hover above the psychological important 4-dollar mark in places like California and Washington DC, and are also likely to be even higher during the summer driving peak than they are now. Nearly 10 percent of stations are already selling gasoline for over $4 a gallon as of Tuesday; just 5 percent are selling gas for below $3.50 a gallon, according to the USA Today. Meanwhile, the price of crude oil, which makes up most of the cost of motor fuel, has weakened some in recent weeks. That could indicate that the gas price increase may be softening too, notes.


So, what to do? In general, there are two options to cope with increasing prices: Get a cheaper car – and pick the “right” state in which to spend your summer. A third option, of course, would be to drive less, but if you are planning a road trip you really don’t want that one.

A gas price map provided by shows there are two states that distinguish themselves when it comes to gasoline: Wyoming and Montana. Montana prices averages $3.24 a gallon, roughly 50 cents below the national average. In Wyoming, motorists can look forward to a 10-cent fuel tax increase that takes effect this summer. The state Senate recently voted 18-12 to approve the first change to Wyoming’s gasoline and diesel taxes since 1998, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported.

Gasoline prices, as of February 2012. Source:

Gasoline prices, as of February 2012. Source:


This brings us to the next question: What to do in Montana and Wyoming?

Here are some suggestions on what to see:

[colored_box color=”blue”]Montana[/colored_box]

• Statues for the Proletariat, Billings, Montana

Custer’s Last Stand, Little Big Horn, Montana

Glacier National Park

Levis & Clark Caverns Tour

• A bunch of State Parks in Montana



[colored_box color=”green”]Wyoming[/colored_box]

Yellowstone National Park

• Wyoming’s long row of scenic drives

Museum of Aerial Firefighting

Ames Pyramid, Byford, Wyoming

Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, Wyoming



The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.