Gas prices climb as summer travel season approaches
May 23, 2018
Gas prices in Arizona approach a three-year high as they hit a $3.02 per gallon average on Wednesday, joining 13 other states who have reached the three dollar mark.
At this moment, 17 states in the country are seeing gas prices at or above three dollars. Motorists haven’t seen prices this high going into Memorial Day weekend since 2014. Arizona prices have been steadily rising since January, but in the last month alone they have gone up 20 cents.
It’s not necessarily surprising to see gas prices rise during this time of year, says Michelle Donati-Grayman, communications manager for AAA Arizona. There are a number of reasons for the increase, the consistent one being the switch to the summer blend of fuel, which is more expensive to produce.
Even though this time last year saw gas prices at $2.30 per gallon, it’s still expected over 740,000 Arizonans will be taking to the roads this summer. Donati-Grayman says AAA has been advising motorists to budget because families are predicted to pay an extra $200 for gas during these hot months.
Along with annual factors such as the summer fuel blend and anticipated high demand for gas, there are also reasons for the prices that are specific to 2018.
“You have geopolitical tensions,” Donati-Grayman says. “Specifically, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal has impacted the oil prices, which in turn has resulted in higher retail prices for consumers. You have global demand which is increasing, and global supplies which are decreasing. The price of crude oil has been testing high as well.”
As usual, Tuscon drivers will continue to see averages below $3 per gallon. Donati-Grayman says it’s expected to be around the $2.80 range. On the other hand, Flagstaff and Scottsdale will be seeing some of the highest prices.