The national average price for a gallon of regular gas was $3.84 a gallon on Friday, according to the AAA. This is the highest price since September 2012 and 11 cents higher from Thursday.
“That’s not the end of it. We’ve already raised another 14 cents on wholesale gas prices this morning,” said Tom Kluza, global head of energy analysis at Opis. He said that the increases in wholesale gas prices are likely to be transmitted to consumers in a short time.
“It’s completely out of control,” he said.
The median price a year ago was $2.75 a gallon, as prices were still recovering from the plunge early in the pandemic. Stay-at-home orders and business closures slashed demand for gasoline.
The average household consumes about 90 gallons a month, Kloza said, so a $1.09 increase in gas prices would cost a family about $98 a month, or just under $1,200 over the course of a year.
Kloza said he could see the average price rise to a new record high of $4.25 to $4.50 per gallon. He said that the rapid rise in gas prices makes a particularly strong impression on the public, compared to the slow but steady increase in prices.
“When you get increments that fast, and that’s exciting, you really burn the audience,” he said.
California’s statewide average jumped 13 cents overnight to $5.07 a gallon, making it the first state ever to have an average price over $5 a gallon.
There are now nine states — California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania — where the average price is already well above $4 a gallon, with New York and Pennsylvania over the $4 mark with the latest reading.
Two other states—Arizona and Connecticut, as well as Washington, D.C.—are just pennies away from that $4 average.