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Gas prices are going up, but that doesn't seem to be deterring drivers. Though gas now costs $1.22 per gallon more than it did a year ago, according to industry experts, the American public is still filling its tank.
"With the U.S. economy slowly recovering from the depths of the pandemic, demand for gas is robust, but the supply is tight," AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said in a news release. "We haven't seen prices this high since September of 2014."
U.S. drivers paid an average of $3.367 per gallon on Monday, according to Gasbuddy, a price tracker. Last year, gas in the U.S. cost an average $2.148.
North Carolina and Florida saw the biggest jumps in gas prices in the last week, up 14 cents per gallon, followed by Arizona at 12 cents and Rhode Island and New York at 11 cents, according to AAA, which calculated the national average at $3.38 per gallon. Drivers in California and Hawaii paid the most, at $4.54 per gallon and $4.26 per gallon.
Still, drivers are hitting the road. Strong demand is hitting U.S. stockpiles hard, while production is still slow because of the pandemic, sending the price of crude oil up, according to AAA.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey told the Associated Press on Sunday that the rise comes as the cost of crude oil surges.
Lundberg's survey found the average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline spiked 13 cents over the past two weeks and the average price of diesel jumped 14 cents to $3.59 a gallon, the AP reported.
Crude oil futures reached $83.76 for West Texas Intermediate and $85.53 for Brent at close Friday, hitting a seven-year high.
While the price of a gallon of gas typically dips after Labor Day, this year's persistent climb prompted President Joe Biden to call for an investigation.