Marilyn Buskohl
Public Affairs Director
O: (605) 310-4614
C: (605) 367-3964

Gas Prices Jump a Nickel Ahead of Independence Day Holiday 

July 1, 2019 - Following weeks of steady pump price declines, gas prices are starting to increase across the country. On the week, a gallon of regular unleaded is, on average, a nickel more expensive with nearly 25 states seeing an increase of a nickel or more since last Monday.

South Dakota Average Gas Prices:

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“For the more than 41 million motorists hitting the road this week to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, they will find gas prices cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, but more expensive than they’ve been paying the last few weeks,” said Marilyn Buskohl, AAA spokesperson. “It’s typical to see increases at the pump ahead of the holiday, but we may see prices continue to jump throughout the month due refinery interruptions on the East Coast, increasing demand and fluctuations in crude oil price.”

Factors driving up gas prices:

  • Crude oil prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was priced as low as $51.13 in mid-June, but has since jumped more than $8 to land as high as $59.43. Crude accounts for as much as 60% of the retail gasoline price.
  • Supply: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports total U.S. stocks at 232 million bbl for the week ending June 21, which is the lowest June stock level seen since 2015.
  • Demand:Demand remains robust for peak summer driving season at a four-week average of 9.6 million b/d. EIA reports gasoline stocks drew down for a second week in its latest report. This trend isn’t likely to stop this week, especially with 41.4 million Americans expected to hit the road for the Independence Day holiday.
  • Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES): Last week, PES announced that they will permanently close the South Philadelphia refinery this month, which is the oldest and largest refinery on the East Coast. The announcement came following a June fire and explosion at the refinery, which produces 335,000 barrels of crude per day (42 U.S. gallons per barrel).
  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC): OPEC and its partners will meet today and tomorrow in Vienna and are likely to extend the current production reduction agreement of 1.2 million b/d through the end of the year, which could push crude oil prices more expensive.

Today’s national average is $2.71, which is a nickel more than last week, but 11 cents less than last month and 14 cents cheaper than a year ago

Quick Stats 

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases are: North Carolina (+13 cents), South Carolina (+13 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Delaware (+11 cents), Florida (+11 cents), Georgia (+10 cents), Ohio (+9 cents), Maryland (+9 cents), Mississippi (+8 cents) and Michigan (+8 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Mississippi ($2.32), Alabama ($2.33), Louisiana ($2.34), Arkansas ($2.35), South Carolina ($2.37), Tennessee ($2.41), Missouri ($2.41), Texas ($2.42), Oklahoma ($2.42) and Virginia ($2.45).

Central States and Great Lakes Region

Gas prices are more expensive for every state in the Great Lakes and Central states with the exception the Dakotas (-1 cent). Indiana (+11 cents), Ohio (+9 cents) and Michigan (+8 cents) saw among the top 10 largest increases in the country on the week. With close proximity to Pennsylvania, these three states’ increases are likely due to the upcoming closure of the PES facility.

In addition, Ohio could see further increases this week due to the gas tax increase of 10.5 percent per gallon going into effect today, Monday, July 1; though it is likely that gas stations had already started to increase retail gas prices, due to the new tax.

Regional gasoline stocks have consistently built since mid-May, according to EIA data. Though gasoline stocks sit at a robust measurement, motorists are likely to see gas prices increase – though moderate for most of the region – in the coming weeks, in part due to the PES closure and increasing crude oil prices.

Oil market dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI dropped by 96 cents to settle at $58.47. Crude prices moved mostly higher last week following surprising new data from EIA that showed total domestic crude inventories took a surprisingly large draw of 12.8 million bbl last week. At 469.6 million bbl, crude inventories are almost 53 million bbl higher this year over last, but the dramatic decline has the market concerned that the global crude market is tightening.

As crude prices climb due to the production cuts, American motorists should expect higher pump prices in the weeks ahead.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at



TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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