Aug. 29–Drivers hitting the road this Labor Day weekend are paying the highest gas prices in four years, analysts say.
“It’s been consistently a more painful summer at the pump than what we’ve been accustomed to when compared to the last few summers,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
“Without major hurricanes, we should continue to see prices gently decline in the weeks ahead as demand begins to slow into the autumn, wrapping up the priciest summer at the pump since 2014,” DeHaan said, “but, overall, with a moderately less sting than what we saw earlier on this decade.”
GasBuddy projects the national average for a gallon of regular will will be $2.84 a gallon on Labor Day, up 20 cents from last year.
Drivers locally and across Louisiana, however, are getting a break, with gas prices lower than many parts of the country, according to GasBuddy:
* A gallon of regular cost an average $2.62 today in the Houma-Thibodaux metro area, comprised of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. It was up 1.5 cents for the week, showed no change for the month and was up 45 cents compared to a year ago.
* Louisiana’s average was $2.57 a gallon, down 3.1 cents for the week and 2.8 cents for the month but up 39.6 cents compared to the same time last year.
* The U.S. average Tuesday $2.83 a gallon, up a penny for the week, 2.2 cents for the month and 45.8 cents compared to a year ago.
Prices spiked just before Labor Day last year after Hurricane Harvey slammed ashore in Texas, causing oil refineries and pipelines to shut down temporarily.
The average U.S. price this summer, $2.73 a gallon, is also its highest in four years.
On average, motorists have spent more than $1.1 billion per day on gas this season, up from a decade low of $912 million per day during summer 2016, according to GasBuddy. This summer’s total fuel bill, while the highest since 2015, will still be the third lowest since 2011.
— Executive Editor Keith Magill can be reached at 857-2201 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @CourierEditor.
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