Gas prices top $3 per gallon, the first time since 2014

NOW: Gas prices top $3 per gallon, the first time since 2014

BOSTON, Mass. (CBS 58) -- The national average price of gasoline on Wednesday, May 12, passed the $3 per gallon mark, according to GasBuddy -- a milestone that hasn't been reached since 2014. 

“While this is not a milestone anyone wants to celebrate, it’s a sign that things are slowly returning to normal,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “In this case, rising gas prices are a sign Americans are getting back out into the world — attending baseball games, going to concerts, taking a road trip — basically staying anywhere but at home. This summer may see some blockbuster demand for fuel as well, as Americans find it very challenging to travel internationally, leading many to stay in the confines of U.S. borders, boosting some weeks to potentially record gasoline demand.”

GasBuddy says they expect summer fuel prices not to set records, but settle down to levels more similar to 2018, when the national average briefly spiked above $3/gallon but eventually fell back under and remained in the upper $2 to low $3 per gallon range. 

Should any major refinery issues develop in the midst of the summer travel season, gas prices could become impacted in a large way, especially if the economy continues to see solid recovery and demand for fuels increases.

"We're continuing to see the slow and steady increase that we would traditionally see at this time of the year heading into Memorial Day," says Nick Jarmusz, Public Affairs Director, AAA. 

He says it's a return to more pre-pandemic levels of demand and a return to pre-pandemic gas prices. 

"In fact, if you look at the statewide average in Wisconsin this week and actually the last couple weeks, it’s actually been tracking right in line for what it was at this point two years ago," he said. 

Jarmusz says the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack and shutdown is not impacting Wisconsin right now. 

"Either from a supply end or really from a price end," he said, "There's really no way it could affect our supply chain. We’re completely not reliant in any way on the Colonial Pipeline, our supply chain is all within the Midwest."

Previous yearly peaks in gas prices and date:

Jan 9, 2020 = $2.60
May 5, 2019 = $2.89
May 27, 2018 = $2.97
Sept 9, 2017 = $2.66
June 12, 2016 = $2.38

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