Summer Gas Prices Highest in Four Years

As gas prices keep going up, traveling this summer could be pricey.

byAlejandra O'Connell-Domenech|

Gas prices this summer are projected to average around $2.74 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Last year the average price of a gallon was $2.41, according to the Associated Press.

“This is going to be most expensive driving season since 2014,” said the global head of energy analysis for Oil Price Information Service, Tom Kloza, to the AP.

U.S. crude oil prices have been on a steady incline since June of last year. Last week the price hit its highest level since December 2014 at $68.64.

Oil prices this high should not negatively impact economic growth, according to the AP. The energy sector and related industries have more money to spend on equipment and workers.

Those who will bear the greatest burden are low-income drivers.  

A wave of economic growth has driven up demand for oil and last year’s production cutbacks by the OPEC have helped shrink oil supplies. Both factors are playing a role in the spike in oil prices.

In the United States, oil supplies were running 1.1 million barrels lower at the start of the summer’s driving season, which begins in April and ends in September, according to the AP.

Gas prices normally rise as demand increases. Summertime means more travel and fuel use due to vacations. The smaller amount of available oil only exacerbated this rise in demand.

“We’re seeing a higher price environment,” said Kloza to the AP. “But I don’t think we’re going to look at really apocalyptic numbers.”